Riga, the historic capital of Latvia, is the largest city in the Baltic republics and home to one third of the Latvian population. The city lies on the mouth of the Daugava river on the Gulf of Riga. Riga was founded in 1201 and was part of the Hansa League, uniting a series of merchant towns along the North and Baltic Sea. Riga and Latvia later came under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden and then – after a siege by Tsar Peter the Great – under Russian rule, while keeping many of its former privileges. At the beginning of the 20th century, Riga was the third biggest city in the Russian Empire after St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Latvia became independent in the aftermath of the October Revolution, only to be recaptured twenty years later by the Red Army, followed by the Nazi occupation which lasted three years until
the Red Army reappeared again with Stalin turning Latvia into a Soviet Republic in 1944.
The country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but the high population of ethnic Russians in the capital means that Riga today has majority of Russian speakers, making it an
excellent place for studying the Russian language. Latvia joined the European Union in 2004 and since then Riga has become a vibrant hub for businesses operating between Russia and the EU.
Riga’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the finest Art Nouveau architecture anywhere in Europe. The Vecriga, the medieval heart of the city, is home to the Town
Hall Square with the iconic House of the Blackheads. On the outskirts of the city lies Jurmala, a wonderful beach resort with beautiful parkland – a great place to escape the busy city centre.
Latvia’s location, in the middle of the Baltic region makes Riga an excellent base for further travels to the other Baltic States, Russia, Belarus or other countries or cities surrounding the Baltic Sea.
Riga, and the Liden & Denz centre welcomes you!