The so-called Christmas battles between the Russian and the German military took place in 1916, during World War I. Latvian riflemen demonstrated such courage and heroism during these battles that they became known far beyond Latvia’s borders. Machine Gun Hill now has a memorial to the Latvian riflemen. The viewing tower on the hill has been restored. The Maztīrelis swamp and the place where the German narrow-gauge railroad used to run can be seen well from the hill. The rail tracks crossed the swamp from the North to the South, and the rows of trees in the swamp show where they were.
Visiting the object: You can hike the area with or without a guide. The Christmas battle museum at the Mangaļi homestead offers thematic and educational events, as well as mock battles. You can look at monuments, graves, trenches, fortifications, dugouts, etc.
The Mangaļi homestead is home to Latvia’s largest mock-up of a battle site. There are unique elements of fortifications from World War I here – ones that are related to the Christmas battles. One part of the fortifications has been reconstructed in its original location – the dugout and a part of the so-called “German rampart” that was part of the front line of the German fortifications.