Viļaka is rich with diverse and beautiful nature, historical evidence, Latgalian hospitality, leisurely pace of life and peace.
Viļaka (former Marienhausen) is situated 8 km from the Russian border. The site on which the town stands has long been inhabited and was mentioned in historic sources in the 13th century as Purnava, the regional centre of Latgalian Atzele. Viaka’s stone castle was built during the period when the Archibishop of Riga was Jasper Linde (1509-1524). However, it was destroyed during the Livonian War (16th century) and the Northern War (early 18th century). In 1582 Viaka became a Polish provincial centre but after Poland was partitioned in 1772, the town, together with the rest of Latgale, was annexed by Russia. It was granted its ocial town charter in 1945.