capital and largest city of Latvia

Riga is the capital city of the European country of Latvia. Riga is on river Daugava near the Baltic Sea. The historical center of Riga is in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and is notable for its Art Nouveau architecture, which, according to UNESCO, has no equal in the world. [7]

From top, left to right: the Freedom Monument, the Riga City Council building, the House of the Blackheads, Līvu Square, and the Latvian National Opera
From top, left to right: the Freedom Monument, the Riga City Council building, the House of the Blackheads, Līvu Square, and the Latvian National Opera
Flag of Riga
Coat of arms of Riga
Riga is located in Latvia
Location of Riga in Latvia
Coordinates: 56°56′56″N 24°6′23″E / 56.94889°N 24.10639°E / 56.94889; 24.10639
Country Latvia
 • TypeCity council
 • MayorVilnis Ķirsis
 • City324 km2 (125 sq mi)
 • Land275.5 km2 (106.4 sq mi)
 • Water48.50 km2 (18.73 sq mi)  15.8%
 • Metro
10,133 km2 (3,912 sq mi)
 • City641,423
 • Density2,000/km2 (5,100/sq mi)
 • Metro1,070,201
 • Metro density101.4/km2 (263/sq mi)
 • Demonym
 • Latvians46.2%
 • Russians37.7%
 • Belarusians3.9%
 • Ukrainians3.5%
 • Poles1.8%
 • Lithuanians0.8%
 • Romanies0.1%
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Calling codes66 and 67
 - Total€12($15) billion[6]
 - Per capita€18,000($21,000)
Historic Centre of Riga
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The old town of Riga
CriteriaCultural: i, ii
Inscription1997 (21st Session)
Area438.3 ha
Buffer zone1,574.2 ha

The mayor of Riga was Mārtiņš Staķis. He resigned in July 2023. [8]

The current mayor of Riga is Vilnis Ķirsis. He became the mayor on July 5, 2023.

History change

Founding change

The location of Riga was nearby a trade route from the Vikings to the Byzantine Empire. A sheltered harbor near the current location of Riga was created in the 2nd century. It was settled by a Finnic tribe called the Livonians.

During the early Middle Ages, Riga began to develop as a center for Viking trade. In 1158, Germans began visiting Riga. They created an outpost nearby.

The monk Meinhard of Segeberg arrived and tried to convert the Livonian pagans to Christianity.

founded in 1201. It was a castle of the Teutonic Order. He built a castle and a church close to Riga. Meinhard died in 1196, and the Livonians continued to practice Paganism. In 1198, Bishop Berthold arrived with some Crusaders and tried to force the Livonians to become Christian. However, Berthold soon died and the Crusaders were defeated.

Pope Innocent III declared a crusade against the Livonians. Bishop Albert became Bishop of Livonia in 1199. In 1200, Albert landed in Riga with 23 ships and 500 crusaders.[9]

In 1282, Riga joined the Hanseatic League. This gave Riga economic and political stability.

Holy Roman Empire change

In 1522, Riga joined the Protestant Reformation, which ended the power of the archbishops. After the end of the Livonian Order, Riga because a free imperial city as part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Swedish Empire change

Riga came under the influence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after the Treaty of Drohiczyn in 1581. In 1621, Riga became part of the Swedish Empire after the Polish-Swedish War (1621-1625). Riga resisted a Russian siege during the Russo-Swedish War (1656–1658).

The Russian Empire change

Between 1709 and 1710, the Russian Empire captured Riga, forcing the city to surrender. Riga retained most of their autonomy.

World War I change

The German Army marched into Riga and captured it in 1917. In 1918 after the Russian surrender, Riga was made a part of the German Empire. On 11 November 1918, Germany surrendered and gave up Latvia. Latvia declared independence on 18 November. The United Kingdom and Germany were Latvia's main trading partners.

World War II change

In 1940, Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union. A rigged election took place in Latvia. Many anti-Soviet men were arrested and many others were deported. Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, and occupied Riga. During the invasion, Latvian Jews were brought into concentration camps.[10] By the end of the war, most Jews were brought to Germany. The Soviet Union reclaimed Riga in 1944. Riga was made part of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. Latvia gained independence from the Soviet Union in August of 1991. Riga became the capital of Latvia.

People change

The Riga inhabitants are named “Rīdzinieki” on Latvian and “рижане”(rizhani) on Russian.

Most of the people by ethnic origin are Latvian (45%) and 40% are Russian. Historically the city had large German population. Among other ethnic groups there are Byelorussians, Poles and Jews.

In the 16th century, Riga was one of the largest cities on the Baltic Sea coast, with a population of about 16,000. The population fell to about 6000 in 1720, but grew rapidly later, reaching 517,000 in 1913. The world wars reduced the population. It reached its peak in 1990 — 909,135 people.

Economy change

During the Soviet period the Riga wagon building factory made a very big number of local trains.

The Latvian National Theatre is in Riga.

Transportation change

The are 8 tram and 18 trolley routes run by Rīgas Satiksme.

Notable people change

References change

  1. "Riga City Council". Riga City Council. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  2. "Riga in Figures". Riga City Council. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007.
  3. "Table RESIDENT POPULATION BY STATISTICAL REGION, CITY AND COUNTY Riga city". csb.gov.lv. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. https://www.geo.lu.lv/fileadmin/user_upload/lu_portal/projekti/gzzf/Konferences/EGEA/Krisjane_Zira_Rigas_aglomeracija.pdf#page=10
  5. "Table ISG191. RESIDENT POPULATION BY ETHNICITY AND BY STATISTICAL REGION AND CITY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 2015". csb.gov.lv. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  6. "2.1. Gross Domestic Product – Stratēģijas Uzraudzības Sistēma". sus.lv. Archived from the original on 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  7. Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Historic Centre of Riga". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2023-08-22.
  8. "Staķis paziņo par atkāpšanos no Rīgas mēra amata". www.lsm.lv (in Latvian). Retrieved 2023-08-22.
  9. "History of Riga | Rīgas valstspilsētas pašvaldība". www.riga.lv. Retrieved 2024-01-19.
  10. "Riga". encyclopedia.ushmm.org. Retrieved 2024-01-19.

Other websites change