On 15-16 February 2024, 30 project representatives from Kurzeme and Vidzeme regions visited Estonia to learn about accessibility solutions at cultural heritage objects, museums and nature.

On the first day, 15 February, we visited the Vastseliina Episcopal castle complex with a museum of medieval life and a modern Pilgrim’s house featuring an educational exposition in two floors, accessible also to people with disabilities, on the nature of pilgrimages and the daily life of pilgrims in the Middle Ages. A great adventure with a fantastic Latvian speaking guide and a medieval meal! In the end of the visit, the project Estonian partner – the Development Centre of Võru County – gave a presentation on the organisation and special “Vunki Mano” hackathon approach used as the Võru county development planning incentives. The participants also discussed preparations for the accessibility hackathon planned as part of the project in October 2024 in Võru County.

Next, the participants visited the truly impressive and exciting Estonian National Museum in Tartu with wide and diverse expositions about Estonian history. Here, a number of wheelchairs are available for visitors and we took the opportunity to see the museum in a wheelchair – by taking turns sharing and trying out the wheelchair manoeuvring skills. We did well, as the museum and almost all expositions are accessible to people with movement disorders.

After that, we visited the 4ha large Tammistu Manor, which old manor house is adapted to people with movement disorders with a number of new buildings with comfortable and accessible paths across the territory. Each and every visitor is welcome here, the manor offers various activities and overnight stays for people with disabilities. A good example on how a culturally historical building can be adapted to all!

In the end of the day, we took the change to gather for a project management meeting to discuss the upcoming activities and tasks.

On the second day, 16 February, the participants visited the Estonian Ice Age Centre near Tartu, where uniquely interesting expositions are being presented about the Ice Age era. This centre will be particularly exciting to kids. Here you can touch the figures of various animals, feel their fur, hear the sounds of various birds, draw on walls as our ancestors did and even hold in your hands the real mammoth tooth and tusk!

While in Tartu – the European Cultural Capital 2024 – we took a quick stroll across the city centre and saw the tactile cast of the central bridge.

On our way back to Latvia, we stopped at the common Valga-Valka centre on the Estonia-Latvia border, which has a nice slogan: “one city – two countries”, to see the nicely constructed central area and its accessibility. Definitely recommended to stop by!:)

We got home with lots of fun and new inspirations to continue working on finding the best accessibility solutions at our project sites.

Project activities are being implemented with the support of the Interreg Estonia – Latvia Programme 2021-2027.

Infomation prepared by:

Project Leader in Kurzeme Planning Region
Alise Lūse
Tālrunis: 26567874, alise.luse@kurzemesregions.lv