The story tells – Gulbene was found in a place where a brave ploughman was making a clearance. The name of Gulbene was first mentioned in writings in 1224 in Tālava division agreement. In 1920 walking around Gulbene Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš did not find the place. In 1928 Gulbene was endowed the rights of a town. Some years later Vilis Veldre stated that a town will never be found here because people will not build and settle in this bog. In 1930th postcards with a saying “Gulbene – the town of blooming gardens”were popular in Latvia. Gulbene developed really in a very special way, its history and today can be read as a fascinating life story speaking at least about the foundation of formation of its territory. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was the rich Vecgulbene manor that formed the centre. It was the baron – the last owner of the manor love of whom towards his wife Marissa was described in legends and adored. Ferdinand von Zeppelin himself visited the manor - the inventor of dirigibles. In 1903 the second centre stared formation – around the newly built narrow gauge railway, but …. in the distance of 2 km from the manor not to disturb quietness of it and its beauty with modern things. But today every inhabitant of Gulbene will tell you there is the only still operating in the Baltic narrow gauge railway – Bānītis – in Gulbene that rolled into its second centenary in 2003. But the modern centre? It was formed when the lonely places around pastures and meadows became overgrown, also the master `s fields from the times of pre-war Latvian Republic and after World War II. That is why contraction of the centre is witness of the construction of the 20-30th of the 20th century (station building, gymnasium, today’s secondary school No.2, building of Savings Bank, buildings and shops of Riga street) or typical monument of the Soviet time standard construction (district council building, culture centre, the formed department store, hotel, multi-storey constructions of Skolas and Nākotnes streets).
Today Gulbene is the only town of the district and 9 thousand people live in the centre. They live in 1152 houses placed in 66 streets. People are mainly doing services, trades, dressmaking, and timber production. It is a town with instead of the destroyed during Soviet times Monument of Freedom and new – presented by the local entrepreneurs Town Clock (the first in the history of the town).
Inhabitant of Gulbene is a reserved, low-keyed person with his own point of view and his own wisdom of life (Malenians could also carry light in sacks) Maybe that is why people who have always been important to the state have come from Gulbene in all times – the first Latvian professional painter Oto Bērtiņš, conductor Imants Cepītis, composer Valdis Zilveris, literature scientists Ojārs and Viesturs Zanders, actors brothers Grabovskis, singer Ingus Pētersons. In the duration of half a century pfotographer Oskars Priedītis memorialized Gulbene and the inhabitants, actors Anta Liedskalniņa and Robers Ligers spent their school years here.Back