Under Daugavpils, in the border zone, is a research center and training base on the biology of Daugavpils University. In the woods, just 300 metres from the border with Belarus, there is a restored manor Ilhas is a picturesque Park and pond. To date, the complex includes two buildings, scientific stuffing which is impressive. So in the holiday season and school holidays there is always lively.

Almost everyone who has ever been in Ilhas, wants to go back there again. For some it is nature, for others, the silence, the splendor of the scenery and gifts of nature. And for those who are passionate about botany, is your world with unforgettable discussions, meetings, night hikes and the richest herbarium collections and beetles. No analogues in the Baltics or in Eastern Europe.

Усадьба-музей под Даугавпилсом: лесная сони и энергоэффективные жуки

Scientific base located on the territory of the reserve Ilhas and is part of the nature Park Silene. This is the most studied place in Latvia. Only here is found the forest Dormouse. All in all, the customer can meet over 100 species of protected plants and animals. Nothing surprising in this. Because Ilgas first mentioned in Chronicles in the 14th century as a place connected with the other world. It has its own, special aura where there is no hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Noble estate was built in the second half of the 19th century by the architect Wilhelm Neumann. The customer Polish banker from Vilnius with a characteristic surname Salmanowicz. The estate as a hunting residences, where the owner along with the guests came for a couple of months in a year. This explains the location of the estate in the wilderness of the forest, near a pond.

Then the owners of the house changed. And with 30-to 50-ies of the 20th century the castle was adapted for educational needs. Worked here as a Forest school, then primary and secondary school.

But in the middle of the last century for Ilgas is assigned the status of training and field practice base for students of the faculty of biology and chemistry, Daugavpils pedagogical Institute. Young people then get in Ilhas in the back of trucks, at least - on the bus, and lived in tents, which were broken near the castle, who was then in ruins.

It is during such practice, the current rector of Daugavpils University, academician Arvid Barshevsky finally decided on their scientific career. He was amazed at the diversity of beetles of the world, and now focuses on insects from the Philippines.

Усадьба-музей под Даугавпилсом: лесная сони и энергоэффективные жуки
"Our collection of beetles, consisting of 10 thousand species, gathered over decades, we are constantly something we should buy, yourself are on expeditions. Rare beetles – sought after lot in various auctions. Prices can be up to several thousand euros," - says Barshevsky.

Academician tells about the project of scientific databases with special awe. After the restoration the manor was turned into a smart house that is controlled by the removal. Heating of buildings provides a powerful fuel pump with geothermal wells, we have used the earth's heat. In Ilgas its own Autonomous water supply system with artesian well, sewage with biological treatment, energy-efficient ventilation system.

It is necessary ventilation ensures comfortable climatic regime in the vaults of the collection. Beetles are just here to see. They are collected worldwide. There are exclusive exhibits that are difficult to find elsewhere in other museums.

Усадьба-музей под Даугавпилсом: лесная сони и энергоэффективные жуки
"Usually in Museum stores smells of mothballs, to keep the collection of beetles. We support specific climate regime. See, the system of ventilation, as we entered the room and changed the background temperature"? says Barshevsky.

In Ilhas scientists from Latvia, Russia, Belarus and other countries are lured by the potential of the centre. Young doctors of science (the complete opposite of the stereotype that a scientist is a boring old man) recognized that the love of biology was imparted to school teachers and University teachers. Scholars themselves regularly give lectures for pupils and students. Guys are always interested in the level of earnings biologists. "Well, at world level", they admit. The main thing is to participate in projects and receive grants. And this in Ilgas all conditions. It also can work and be visited by people with disabilities. Organized educational summer camps for children.

"What people can learn from bugs?", we ask scientists. A lot, sure they are. Now one of the most promising areas of science – bionics. All that is created in nature, made perfect with a purpose and practical application. Therefore it is not necessary to "reinvent the wheel". If we learn to understand the real purpose of a given in nature, this can be used to apply in our life and technology.

For example, a beetle that lives in the Arctic, has a black color with high absorptivity waves. Nature has decorated it so as to attract heat. If we learn to copy the structure of the carapace of the insect, it can be used, for example, in solar batteries. Therefore, the work of scientists who study insects, are no less important than those involved in, say, space technologies.

Усадьба-музей под Даугавпилсом: лесная сони и энергоэффективные жуки
They say that there lives a Ghost. Good. This is the spirit of a girl whose father didn't approve of her choice, and she was forced to part with her beloved. Details can be found at students and scientists working in Ilgaz.

If you want to visit a training base for Ilgas, the trip should be coordinated with the border control. Individual and group tours for children and adults can be ordered from Ainars of Pancenco, tel: 26 953 136, [email protected]