The "Inverted House" tourist object in Smārde parish, Tukums district (https://apgrieztamaja.lv), is the brainchild of owners Guntis and Ilze Baltgalvis who bought the rural property 10 years ago. Since the land near the house is only 1.7 hectares in size, the owners have created an unusual tourist attraction over four years and continue to add to it, reported Latvian Radio's upbeat news show "Strong stories".
Guntis and Ilze met during their studies in Riga. Ilze is a primary school teacher by education, while Guntis studied psychology and social sciences.
"In informatics, we both had one overdue assignment, and we were told to do it together," said Ilze.
"On the day when we had that joint [homework], the school had given us a big scholarship for three months, and a fun evening in Old Riga was planned. I simply drove up to Ilze with my car and asked if she also wanted to come out for the evening, and she came," Guntis recounted.
Ilze started working in the field of insurance during her studies, while Guntis focused on construction and eventually established his own construction company. His knowledge was useful in the construction of the Inverted House.
"When all the big works were done, creating the Inverted House, I participated a lot directly in the construction process," Guntis said.
The idea of a tourist attraction arose after both realized that 1.7 hectares of land is not enough for rural life, but it seemed useless to maintain it just as a pied-a-terre in the middle of nowhere.
Inspiration from Estonia
During an autumn vacation in 2018, Ilze and Guntis visited Tartu, Estonia, where they saw a tourist attraction – an upside-down house. It was clear to Guntis that he wanted to build such a house in Latvia as well. The process from the idea to its realization was long and lasted four years.
"We came from Tartu, and I was at the construction board the very next week, I was in the Ķemeri National Park because we are at the outer border of the Ķemeri National Park. At first, we didn't believe it," Guntis admitted.
After organizing the documents, attracting funding and creating the project, construction followed, which was also full of challenges due to the high cost of materials. The invested work has paid off, because last year the "Inverted House" was recognized as a "Major Project 2022".
"It's nice, it gives you energy to work further, it's nice that you're appreciated. It's especially nice to feel appreciated in Smārde parish and Tukums district, because we really have a lot of support," said Guntis.
This summer, you will be able to see a mirror maze and the tornado tunnel at the house, but at the end of the season, the construction of a new "Inverted Garage" will begin. A two-story building has already been built on the territory, which has a ticket office, a souvenir shop and a hall where it is possible to hold events - scientific shows, seminars, conferences and masterclasses.