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After a battle fought near Turaida Castle in 1601, the castle clerk, while searching for survivors, found a baby in the arms of its dead mother. He called the child Maija and brought her up as his own. She grew up to be very beautiful and so was known as the “Rose of Turaida”. Every man fell in love with the girl, including a Polish nobleman named Adam Jakubovski. Maija, however, was deeply in love with Viktor, a gardener, and in the autumn of 1620 they prepared to be married. Shortly before the wedding Maija received a letter from Viktor asking her to meet him at the Gutmanis Cave, their usual meeting place. She went to the cave but when she reached it, it was not Viktor she encountered but Adam Jakubowski who wanted to force her to be his wife. Maija promised that if he let her go she would give him her magic red scarf she was wearing, that had the power to make the wearer immune from injury, and persuaded him to test its power on her. Adam then struck her with an axe and she died, having thus her honour saved.

In the evening Viktor came to the cave and found the body of his betrothed and was accused of the murder. But in court there appeared a witness, who testified that it had been Jakubowski. Viktor buried his betrothed near the castle, planted a linden tree on the grave and left the country forever. Adam was later caught, tried and hanged for his crime.


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