Latvia, one of the Baltic States, is situated in the North of Western Europe. The territory of Latvia covers 64.589 square kilometres with a population of 2.2 million people. The name “Latvia” originates from an ancient Baltic (Indo-European) tribe – the Latgalians, who formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people. The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, 1918. Riga, the oldest still existing medieval city in Latvia, was founded in 1201, but evidence suggests settlements of local inhabitants were in existence as far back as the 10th Century. Nearly one third of Latvia’s population (788 thousand) lives in the capital city Riga. The value of Riga’s cultural and historical significance has been recognized by the fact that its old city centre has been included in UNESCO’s list of the world’s most important cultural and natural sites. The city suffered greatly during wars, experiencing sieges and blockades. Nevertheless, it has preserved and increased its cultural heritage, unique individuality and beauty. Riga is adorned with numerous monuments and interesting sites. Above all, Riga’s Art Nouveau buildings and exceptional wooden architectural heritage contribute to the charm of the city’s image.

More information is available at and

Old Riga. Convent Yard. Photo: Toms Grīnbergs, LU Press center

More photos of Riga

Comments are closed.