Population - 1404
Population density - 323.5 residents per square kilometre
Area - 4,34 square kilometre
Sabile is a tiny, romantic town situated in the southern part of the Talsi district on the terraces of Abava River Valley, which is the most picturesque part of the valley. The first known reference to the town dates from 1253. The Curonians had built there a well protected citadel and town. In the period between the 13th and the 14th century, the community of craftsmen and merchants formed a village nearby the castle built by the German feudal lords. During the reign of Duke Jakob, a linen weaving mill, a lime kiln, tarworks and a mill functioned there. In the 19th century, Sabile had gained a special fame for its skilled fur-dressers.
In 1917 Sabile was granted the privilege of town. The symbol of the town is Vīnakalns (the Vineyard Hill), a 1 hectare vine plantation area that has been entered into the Guiness Book of Records as the nothernmost vineyard in the world. A bunch of grapes ornaments also the town’s coat of arms. The traditional Vine festival is held every year on the last weekend in July.
On the grounds of the Pedvāle manor, which is situated on the far banks of Abava River, the sculptor Ojārs Feldbergs has created an outdoor museum of art where plein air painting and other events are taking place regularly and various art installations are exhibited in a beautiful landscape. A part of the town of Sabile and and the Sabile parish belongs to the nature park “Abavas senleja” (Abava Ancient Valley), which is a specially protected cultural and historical territory and is rich in archaeology monuments of local significance, namely, graveyards and ancient burying grounds.
The historical centre of the town is a monument of national significance to the urban architecture giving insight into development of a provincial town in Courland from 15th to 20th century. Residential buildings have retained their ornaments and clay tile roofs, and a part of the old paving is still present.
In September 2007, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Sabile celebrated its 440 anniversary. The church bell is one of the oldest bells in Europe. It was cast in 1450 and has survived to this day. The pulpit, which is the oldest in Latvia, the altar, the altarpiece and the organ are the most valuable treasures in the building interior.
The social and cultural life in Sabile is defined by the culture house, the secondary school, the kindergarten “Vīnodziņa”, the music and art school, two libraries and the association “Kalme” that provides social services. Since 2002, the Craftsman Centre is developing its activities in Sabile.
For several years now, to be precise, as of 1992, Sabile and the Abava parish have got a twin town in the Netherlands, the municipality of Heino -Raalte. Many cultural exchange and experience exchange projects projects have bean already implemented within the framework of the cooperation, including regular exchange visits by municipal delegations.
Retail is the most popular business in Sabile, there are also a beauty salon, 3 hairdressing salons, a florist’s shop, a bookshop, a dressmaker’s saloon, 2 coffee houses, a pharmacy and a post office. Among the most attractive tourist objects should be mentioned: Sabile Vineyard Hill, Sabile Castle Hill, the outdoor museum in Pedvāle, the restaurant “Zaķu krogs”, Abava Rapids, the nature path “Drubazas”, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Sabile.
57°2'42.983"N 22°34'30.443"E / 57.045273 22.575123
+371 63252344, 26152461