VESTIENA is situated in the highest place of Vidzeme Central Upland, in the western part of Madonas District, 120 km from Riga. Vestiena is crossed by the state main road Riga – Ergli – Vestiena – Berzaune - Madona. It covers 11,680.5 ha, including 8,625 ha of Vestiena Protected Landscape Area (1,355 ha are covered by Gaizinkalna Nature Park with a special protective regime).
From the 14th to 16th century, the territories of Vestiena, Tolka and Devena manors were incorporated in the territory of Riga Archbishoprice. In 1452, the region passed into the hands of Archbishop's vassal Tiesenhausen. Old maps show a rural fortification structure (skanste) located in the place of what is now Vestiena.
In the 18th century an ambitious complex of Vestiena Manor was built instead of the fortification. Protective moats were transformed into picturesque ponds.
The Tiesenhausen family ruled longer than any other of the nine noble families that owned the Vestiena region at various times, namely, 168 years. The last owner of Vestiena Manor was Rusmanis, a Latvian. He bought it after it was burned in 1905, and he partly restored it.
There are 21 lakes in the territory of Vestiena Civil Parish. Kals (Kala Lake) is the largest and deepest lake of Vestiena and also most abounding in islands. Viesura (Kakisa) Lake is a pride of Vestiena with its unique landscapes and non-polluted water, llzina. Lake has diving islands that sometimes rise to the surface.
Vestiena neighbours with Gaizinkalns, the highest hill in Latvia (311 m above the sea level), a proud of the country, and with Bakuzkalns (268 m) nearby. Three of the tvelve highest hills of Latvia are situated in Vestiena: Dravenu (282.7 m), Boku (276.8 m) and Deklainu (275.8 m).
Owing to beautiful landscapes, some feature films of Riga Film Studio were produced in Vestiena.
Sights: Vestiena Manor Complex with park and pond, Ruins of Vestiena Ortodox Church, and the graveyard gate, Chapel of Vestiena's old cemetery, memorial site of Latvian botanist Janis listers, Ruins of Vestiena Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chapel of the new Vestiena Cemetery, A verst-post, The post-office building; a platform; a diving island in the llzina Lake; Devil's Stone in Taleja; the park of Vestiena Manor, a cork-tree; Devil's Stone; memorial
crosses for legionaries killed in te World War II; ruins of Tolka Manor; Tolka mill; fire-tree cross sign for Vestiena people having suffered injustice; the grave site of J. Liepins, knight of the Lacplesis Order.