Photographer's Note

Kemeri Sulphur Springs (Sulphur pools in Latvian) are truly unique. Rather often you will meet other kind of sulphur springs on this planet - created by geothermal processes near contemporary and recent volcanoes. These springs possess healing properties as well and there are large health resorts around them - f.e. in Italy, Slovakia, and New Zealand.

But sulphur springs in Kemeri have been formed in different process. Here above the gypsum containing layer lies peat of Great Kemeri bog and other surrounding bogs. Acid marsh water and specific microorganisms are able to dissolve gypsum (which contains sulphur) and release sulphur in the water. Sulphur reacts with water and creates hydrogen sulphide. This unique groundwater slowly moves from Great Kemeri bog towards Kemeri, reaching maximum concentration in Kemeri. In many places it comes out to the surface, spreading the smell of rotten eggs and covering the soil with yellow sediments of sulphur. This geological process is extremely rare (so far there are no convincing proofs about similar processes elsewhere) and this sulphuric water has got unique healing properties.

At the beginning of 19th century active people became interested in those remote springs. In 1818 there was made the first chemical testing of this water. Soon afterwards there was started construction of health resorts. Kemeri health resort was officially founded in 1838 when state (then - Russian Empire) donated for the development of resort. In 1877 there was built railway connecting Kemeri with Riga and further cities in Russian Empire. At this moment of history there started development of enormous, fancy health resort. Thousands of rich guests resided here for months, rewarding the developers of health resort with high fees. Health resort was developed and improved with enviable determination, scientists and physicians investigated and found new methods of healing, Kemeri turned into important centre of science and exquisite society. In 1912 there was built street tram connecting Kemeri and the beach in Jaunkemeri (does not exist today). In 1928 Kemeri got the rights of town, it existed as separate town until 1959 when was included into Jurmala City.

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