Ķemeri National Park

Ķemeri National Park (Latvian: Ķemeru nacionālais parks) is a national park west of the city of Jūrmala, Latvia. Established in 1997, Ķemeri is the third largest national park in the country by area, covering an area of 381.65 km². The territory of the park is mostly occupied by forests and mires, the most significant of them being The Great Ķemeri Bog (Latvian: Lielais Ķemeru tīrelis). There are also several lakes, that are former lagoons of the Littorina Sea. Lake Kaņieris is a Ramsar site. The park also protects the famous natural mineral-springs and muds, used for centuries because of their therapeutic nature. The springs led to development of many resorts, spas, and sanitariums in the 19th century.

Ķemeri National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Liela Kemeru taka 5jul03
The Great Ķemeri Bog
Map showing the location of Ķemeri National Park
Map showing the location of Ķemeri National Park
Nearest cityJūrmala
Coordinates56°57′06″N 23°30′45″E / 56.95167°N 23.51250°ECoordinates: 56°57′06″N 23°30′45″E / 56.95167°N 23.51250°E
Area381.65 km2 (147.36 sq mi)


Wild Blueberries in Kemeri, Jurmala, Latvia
Wild Blueberries in Kemeri National Park

Forests occupy 57% of the total area of the park. Fragmented mosaic distribution of the forests is not typical for the territory, forests are relatively evenly distributed in the whole area of the national park with some inclusion of meadows and areas not covered in forest. Bogs occupy 24% of the total area of Ķemeri National Park. All three wetland types are found here – fens, transition and raised bogs. Lielais Ķemeru tīrelis bog is an internationally important wetland. Many species of plants thrive in the bog, especially mosses and orchids. Meadows – both dry and wet – occupy 6% of the territory. Water in the form of lakes, rivers, sulphur springs and sea occupy 10% of the park's territory. Many of the outflowing streams have been altered over history to drain the marshland for agriculture, however the waters still support a wide variety of rare species, such as native snails and mussels, fishers, storks and otters.


The bog is home for a number of Latvian bird species, such as the Common crane, Wood Sandpiper and European Golden Plover. The latter two species only breeding habitat is the raised bog.

Moss Bog Berries

The bog also contains edible wild berries such as cranberries, crowberries, cloudberries and blueberries.

Bog Plants

Raised bog is not rich in diversity of plants due to the harsh conditions created by the bog such as low nutrient content and low oxygen content. Thus, the flora is specifically adapted to these conditions such as Eriophorum vaginatum, Calluna vulgaris, Ledum palustre, Rhynchospora alba, Andromeda polifolia, Drosera, Pinus sylvestris and Sphagnum.

Sulfur Springs

Ķemeri National Park has many natural sulfur springs, due to its sublayer of gypsum and soil bacteria (Desulfovibrio desulfuricans), forming H2S gas which easily dissolves in the water. The therapeutic mineral waters and muds found in Ķemeri are used in health resorts located in Ķemeri town nearby, used to treat mostly digestive system and skin problems.


Kemeri Bog BoardWalk, Jurmala, Latvia
Ķemeri Boardwalk

Ķemeri National Park has short (1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi)) and long (3.4 kilometres (2.1 mi)) boardwalk trails are present, with an observation platform popular with photographers for sunrise and sunset scenes.


Formation of bogs in Latvia started in the postglacial period, approximately 10,000 years ago as the climate became warmer and more humid. Thus allowing Sapropelic mud formation at the bottom of the lake, consisting of sandy soil and the remains of water plants and animals.

Recent History

Numerous tanks from World War II were swallowed into the bog, due to depths reaching up to two stories.

Ķemeri national park was established in 1997.

See also

External links


A bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire, and muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens. They are frequently covered in ericaceous shrubs rooted in the sphagnum moss and peat. The gradual accumulation of decayed plant material in a bog functions as a carbon sink.Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. In some cases, the water is derived entirely from precipitation, in which case they are termed ombrotrophic (cloud-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general, the low fertility and cool climate result in relatively slow plant growth, but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence, peat accumulates. Large areas of the landscape can be covered many meters deep in peat.Bogs have distinctive assemblages of animal, fungal and plant species, and are of high importance for biodiversity, particularly in landscapes that are otherwise settled and farmed.

Gyrodon lividus

Gyrodon lividus, commonly known as the alder bolete, is a pored mushroom bearing close affinity to the genus Paxillus. Although found predominantly in Europe, where it grows in a mycorrhizal association with alder, it has also recorded from China, Japan and California. Fruit bodies are distinguished from other boletes by decurrent bright yellow pores that turn blue-grey on bruising. G. lividus mushrooms are edible.

Hyptiotes paradoxus

Hyptiotes paradoxus is a spider species with Palearctic distribution. It is notably found in Lithuania and Latvia. It is also found in Estonia (Saaremaa and mainland) and Finland (Åland Islands).


Jūrmala (Latvian pronunciation: [juːrmala] (listen) "seaside") is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km (20 miles) and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33 km (21 miles) stretch of white-sand beach, and a population of 56,646, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia.

While Latvia was part of the Soviet Union, Jūrmala was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials, particularly Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. Although it has many amenities such as beach-houses and concrete hotels remain, some have fallen into disrepair. Jūrmala remains a tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in the Art Nouveau style.

Lake Kaņieris

Kaņieris Lake or Lake Kaņieris is a lake in Latvia located in the Ķemeri National Park west of the city of Jūrmala. It is a former lagoon of the prehistoric Littorina Sea. Since 1995 it is designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance.


Latvia ( or (listen); Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.After centuries of Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis. The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 (Courland Pocket in 1945) to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.

The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, and restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a very highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index. Its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages.

Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule (1710–1918) and later Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.9% in Latvia), some of whom (14.1% of Latvian residents) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. Until World War II, Latvia also had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. The Russian population are largely Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it uses the euro as its currency since 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats.

List of bogs

This is a list of bogs, wetland mires that accumulate peat from dead plant material, usually sphagnum moss. Bogs are sometimes called quagmires (technically all bogs are quagmires while not all quagmires are necessarily bogs) and the soil which composes them is sometimes referred to as muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens rather than bogs.

List of national parks in the Baltics

This is a list of the national parks in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.


Slocene is a river in Zemgale, historical region of Latvia. It flows through the Tukums municipality and Engure municipality into the lake Kaņieris within the territory of the Ķemeri National Park.

Zora silvestris

Zora silvestris is a prowling spider in the family Miturgidae which is found in Europe and central Asia.


Ķemeri resort (originally Ķemeres, also known as Kemmern)

is a part of Jūrmala in Latvia, 44 km from Riga. From 1928 to 1959, Ķemeri was a separate town, famous for healing mud baths and luxurious hotels. Now approximately 2,200 inhabitants live there, while the main hotel is under reconstruction.

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