Lake Pape

Lake Pape is a typical coastal or lagoon lake with saltwater vegetation – formed after the last ice age. The first written mention of the lake was in the agreement on the division of Courland (1253) as “die Heilige See” in German and “stagnum sanctum” in Latin. The name the holy lake has probably originated from specific Latvian ancient cult sites on its shores.

Lake characteristics
The length of the lake is 8.3 km, the width – 2.8 km, the shoreline – 40.4 km. The lake takes up a part of the Littorine Sea dip stretching from the Nida Bog in the south to Lake Liepāja in the north. The dip is detached from the sea by a narrow coastal dune zone. The bed of the lake is wide and shallow – the deepest point is about 2m but on average it is only half a metre deep. The deepest parts are found in the east part of the lake, opposite to Kalnišķi and Brušviti and the mouth of the Līgupe River into the lake.

The bed of the lake is almost all covered with a 0.5 m thick slime layer. The shoreline of Lake Pape is indented by bays and peninsulas and is variable during the high water periods. The banks are gently sloping and low, the east and the south coast is mainly sandy, the west coast is swampy, and the north coast – rocky.

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