Nazi Germany occupied the city from 1941 to 1944 during World War II, making it the administrative capital of Ostland, a territory encompassing Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. 58. Tens of thousands of people converge on Riga’s Meaparks choral stage every five years for a celebration of Latvian heritage in song. The list of these countries is available on the website of the Latvia’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC). It occupies both banks of the Daugava (Western Dvina) River, 9 miles (15 km) above its mouth on the Gulf of Riga. Riga is the capital city of Latvia, and the country’s most populous city. more. The city encompasses an area of approximately 307.17 square km. Public education tripled the number of municipal schools in the city, serving a diverse ethnic population with instruction in nine languages. Riga, being both the capital and most popular city, is the home to much of the tourist scam reports. A mix of the charming, modern, and tried and true. Riga is on river Daugava near the Baltic Sea. It is said that Latvians are very proud of their country. An ancient settlement of the Livs and Kurs, Riga emerged as a trading post in the late 12th century. Riga, Latvia Economic Outlook. It’s not often that there are more highlights outside of a small country’s capital city than there are in it. Yes, so on your first visit to the country, when … Use current location. Riga, the most cosmopolitan city of the Baltic States, has a long history. With the Russian border closed to eastern trade, the port’s transit role declined, but its agricultural and timber exports became the core of the national economy. Ice hockey, followed by basketball, is the most popular sport in Latvia. Find locations. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Can't-miss spots to dine, drink, and feast. Latvia’s independence was declared in Riga on November 18, 1918, and the city became the new republic’s capital. An ancient settlement of the Livs and Kurs, Riga emerged as a trading post in the late 12th century. In 1995, the historical center of Riga, Old Riga, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn more about Riga in this article. The 14th-century House of Blackheads, damaged during World War II and razed in 1954, was rebuilt in 2000. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The third sector is the strongest in the country, and there are opportunities for foreigners in a few markets. Location map of Latvia Destination Latvia, one of the three Baltic states, situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania. Telephone connections with the United States are reliable; however, U.S. toll-free numbers cannot be accessed from Latvia. Among Riga’s Germans was Paul Schiemann, a leader of the European minorities movement and framer of Latvia’s laws on cultural autonomy for minorities. Riga’s municipal government is typically formed by a coalition of diverse political parties. The mayor of Riga is Nils Ušakovs. Riga hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, the NATO summit in 2006, and Latvia’s EU presidency in 2015. Riga was briefly an independent city-state but passed to Poland in 1581. 0.76 km. The Old Town of Riga, Latvia, astride the Daugava (Western Dvina) River. It is yet another country boasting a beautiful Baltic Sea coastline, and it is only one of the many gorgeous, mostly natural, features that this country has to offer. Latvia borders Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Baltic Sea with the Gulf of Riga in the west, Russia in the east, and Belarus in the southeast. The shape of Latvia resembles that of the lungs (have a look at the map above.) Three Brothers building complex in the Old Town of Riga, Latvia. Railroads also made it possible for Latvians to travel from across the country to the first Latvian national song festival, organized in 1873 by the Riga Latvian Society. Riga, city and capital of Latvia. Riga, Latvia Lat Long Coordinates Info. Riga, Latvian Rīga, city and capital of Latvia. Riga’s German-speaking nobles and merchants retained local privileges under all of the above monarchies. Tim Sestito (43) of Dinamo Riga controls the puck in KHL game between Dinamo Riga and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk played on DECEMBER 10, 2015 in Arena Riga. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Brivibas Bulvaris 32. Industry shifted to consumer goods, among them the world’s smallest camera, the VEF Minox. For security purposes, it is recommended that visitors use ATMs located inside major hotels or shopping malls. Enter ZIP/Postal Code or City. Riga’s astonishing skyline tells the story, as the timeless Gothic spires in the Old Town mingle with the fantastic fa… The city was made a Soviet leader in metalworking as well as in the production of railroad cars and electronics. Riga is also the biggest city in the Baltic states, which also include Estonia and Lithuania. Park Inn by Radisson Residence Riga Barona. Latvia is a Baltic country situated in North Eastern Europe. Latvia lies along the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, and it is bounded by Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and Lithuania to the south. The New Town is easily reached by an efficient and modern bus and tram network. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km (24,938 sq mi). Among Riga’s best-known institutions of higher education are the Riga Stradiņš University, Riga Technical University, and the University of Latvia. Latvia is a country in Northern Europe.The capital is Riga.It is one of the Baltic States, together with Estonia in the north and Lithuania in the south. Monuments near Riga’s canal mark the spot where five civilians were killed by Soviet soldiers during the independence struggle. The city joined the Hanseatic League in 1282 and became the dominant centre of trade on the Baltic Sea’s eastern shore. Omissions? Open now. By means of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Latvia came under the Soviet “sphere of interest”, together with the other Baltic States, Finland and a part of Poland. A Nordic blonde with a fiery heart, there’s much more to Riga than meets the eye. Riga, LV 1051. The city of Riga, founded in 1201, was the seat of Albert’s bishopric (archbishopric in 1253) and a base for conquering the lands of Livonia to the northeast, Courland to the west, and Semigallia to the south. Across the border, Latvia awaits: scenic wetlands, country palaces, and Saturday’s chef-led tour through the converted zeppelin hangars of Riga’s food market. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather focuses on the needs of Europeans as a whole. Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. Home Latvia Riga Riga, Latvia. Albert of Buxhoevden arrived in 1199 with 23 ships of Crusaders and established the military Order of the Brothers of the Sword (reorganized in 1237 as the Livonian Order, a branch of the Teutonic Order). With a national population of almost 2 million, Christianity is Latvia’s largest religion. Search country. ATMs are widely available in Riga and in major towns. The population grew exponentially in the 1800s, spurred by the 1817–19 abolition of serfdom in Lifland and Kurland as well as by the expansion of railroads (1861). Many of the reports revolve around pubs and clubs, and nightlife situations in general. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Holocaust Encyclopedia - Riga, Latvia, Riga - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Riga - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. #everythingboats 14 °F: This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Riga Aerial View Latvia. Riga’s hydroelectric power station went online in 1974. The Soviets returned in October 1944, and for the next four decades Riga was the Soviet Baltic Military District’s command post. Sort by: Distance; Name A-Z; 1 – 15 of 85. From 1915 to 1917, however, one of the war’s front lines lay along the Daugava, resulting in heavy damage on both shores; hundreds of thousands were relocated into Russia, and 400 factories were evacuated with all their machinery, never to return. Latvia was occupied and annexed by the Soviets in 1940, and Riga lost thousands of people in 1940–41 to Soviet deportations and executions. ... Scams in Latvia: how to avoid them. The ķegums hydroelectric power station was completed 30 miles (roughly 50 km) upstream in 1939, and domestic and international flights to Riga’s airport began in the 1920s. Create a Trip to save and organize all of your travel ideas, and see them on a map. Can you identify the world’s national capitals? Latvia was admitted to the United Nations in autumn 1991 and joined the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance in 2004. Opened up to mass tourism with the advent of budget air travel, Riga's Old City and its abundance of bars and restaurants can be explored on foot. (2011) 658,640; (2015 est.) Search country. Latvia is positioned both in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. Its capital and largest city is Riga; other notable major citiesin Latvi… In 2003 UNESCO proclaimed the song and dance festival, along with similar events in Estonia and Lithuania, to be masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. More than 25,000 of the city’s Jews were imprisoned in the Riga ghetto, shot in the Rumbula forest, and buried in mass graves on November 29–30 and December 8–9, 1941. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Scroll right to see more Conditions Comfort Precipitation Sun; Day Temperature Weather Feels Like Wind Humidity Chance Amount UV Sunrise Sunset; Sun Jan 10: 24 / 17 °F: Afternoon clouds. Many medieval buildings survive, among them the 13th-century Riga Dom (cathedral), the 14th-century Riga Castle (1330), and merchants’ homes and warehouses. 2 Week Extended Forecast in Riga, Latvia. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The removal of Riga’s medieval fortress walls began in 1857 to speed business, and a railroad bridge across the Daugava was built in 1872. It was captured by Sweden in 1621 and then taken in 1709–10 by Peter the Great, with Sweden formally ceding the city to Russia by the Peace of Nystad in 1721. The population vacuum created by war deaths, emigration, and deportations was filled by Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians who settled the Baltic region as part of a Soviet internal immigration policy that continued through the 1980s. Corruption Perceptions Index. Latvia was independent from 1920 until 1940. A Latvian constituent assembly, elected in April 1920, met in Riga on May 1; and on August 11 a Latvian-Soviet peace treaty was signed in Riga, the Soviet government renouncing all claims to Latvia. Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel, Hotels with Complimentary Breakfast in Riga. A. 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