Riga
Overview
 
Riga is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city
Demographics of Latvia
This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.-Background:Latvia was...

 of Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

. With 702,891 inhabitants (July 2011) Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 and home to more than one third of Latvia's
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

, cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

 of the Baltic Sea region
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga
Gulf of Riga
The Gulf of Riga, or Bay of Riga, is a bay of the Baltic Sea between Latvia and Estonia. According to C.Michael Hogan, a saline stratification layer is found at a depth of approximately seventy metres....

, at the mouth of the river Daugava. Riga's territory covers 307.17 km² (118.6 sq mi) and lies between 1 and 10 m (3.3 and 32.8 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, on a flat and sandy plain.

Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 member.
Encyclopedia
Riga is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city
Demographics of Latvia
This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.-Background:Latvia was...

 of Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

. With 702,891 inhabitants (July 2011) Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 and home to more than one third of Latvia's
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

, cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

 of the Baltic Sea region
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga
Gulf of Riga
The Gulf of Riga, or Bay of Riga, is a bay of the Baltic Sea between Latvia and Estonia. According to C.Michael Hogan, a saline stratification layer is found at a depth of approximately seventy metres....

, at the mouth of the river Daugava. Riga's territory covers 307.17 km² (118.6 sq mi) and lies between 1 and 10 m (3.3 and 32.8 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, on a flat and sandy plain.

Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 member. Riga's historical centre
Vecriga
Vecrīga is the historical center of Riga, Latvia, located on the east side of Daugava River. Vecrīga is famous for its old churches and cathedrals, such as Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's church.- Origins :...

 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 architecture and 19th century wooden architecture.. The city will be the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 2014, along with Umeå
Umeå
- Transport :The road infrastructure in Umeå is well-developed, with two European highways passing through the city. About 4 km from the city centre is the Umeå City Airport...

 in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. The city hosted the 2006 NATO Summit
2006 Riga summit
The 2006 Riga summit or the 19th NATO Summit was a NATO summit held in Riga, Latvia from November 28 until November 29, 2006. The most important topics discussed were the War in Afghanistan and the future role and borders of the alliance. Further, the summit focused on the alliance's continued...

, the Eurovision Song Contest 2003
Eurovision Song Contest 2003
The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 was the forty-eighth Eurovision Song Contest, held at the Skonto Hall in Riga, Latvia on 24 May 2003. The hosts were Marie N and Renārs Kaupers. Sertab Erener, the Turkish entrant, won the contest with "Everyway That I Can", scoring 167 points. The winning...

 and the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
The 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships was the 70th such event hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation. Teams representing 45 countries participated in four levels of competition. The competition also served as qualifications for the 2007 competition...

. It is home to the European Union's
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications
Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications is the regulating agency of the telecommunication market in the European Union. It was created by the Telecoms Package which was passed in September 2009....

 (BEREC). Riga is served by Riga International Airport
Riga International Airport
-Cargo airlines:*DHL Express*Inversija*RAF-Avia*Sprintair*TNT NV*Transavibaltika*UPS-Traffic statistics:Riga International Airport is one of three notable airports in Latvia. The other two are Liepāja International Airport and Ventspils Airport. Riga International Airport's biggest air carrier is...

, the largest airport in the Baltic states.

Riga is a member of Eurocities
Eurocities
EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities.The EUROCITIES network was founded in 1986 by mayors from six large European cities:* Barcelona, Spain* Birmingham, United Kingdom* Frankfurt, Germany* Lyon, France* Milan, Italy* Rotterdam, Netherlands...

, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) and Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU). Riga is considered a global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

.

Etymology

One theory for the origin of the name Riga is that it is a corrupted borrowing from the Liv ringa meaning loop, referring to the ancient natural harbour formed by the tributary loop of the Daugava. The other is that Riga owes its name to this already-established role in commerce between East and West, as a borrowing of the Latvian rija, for threshing
Threshing
Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of cereal grain from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it. It is the step in grain preparation after harvesting and before winnowing, which separates the loosened chaff from the grain...

 barn, the "j" becoming a "g" in Germannotably, Riga is called Rie by English geographer Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt was an English writer. He is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America by the English through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and...

 (1589), and German historian Dionysius Fabricius (1610) confirms the origin of Riga from rija. Another theory could be that Riga was named after Riege, the German name for the River Rīdzene, a tributary of the Daugava.

History

Founding

The river Daugava has been a trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

 since antiquity, part of the Vikings'
Varangians
The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...

 Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium. A sheltered natural harbour
Harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

 15 km (9.3 mi) upriver from the mouth of the Daugavathe site of today's Rigahas been recorded, as Duna Urbs, as early as the 2nd century. It was settled by the Livs
Livonian people
The Livonians or Livs are the indigenous inhabitants of Livonia, a large part of what is today northwestern Latvia and southwestern Estonia. They spoke the Uralic Livonian language, a language which is closely related to Estonian and Finnish...

, an ancient Finnic
Finnic peoples
The Finnic or Fennic peoples were historic ethnic groups who spoke various languages traditionally classified as Finno-Permic...

 tribe.

Riga began to develop as a centre of Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 trade during the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.
Riga's inhabitants occupied themselves mainly with fishing, animal husbandry
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

, and trading, later developing crafts (in bone, wood, amber, and iron).

The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia
Chronicle of Henry of Livonia
The Livonian Chronicle of Henry is a document describing historic events in Livonia and surrounding areas from 1180 to 1227. Apart from the few references in the Primary Chronicle compiled in Kievan Rus' in the twelfth century, it is the oldest known written document about the history of these...

 testifies to Riga having long been a trading centre by the 12th century, referring to it as portus antiquus (ancient port), and describes dwellings and warehouses used to store mostly corn, flax, and hides. German traders began visiting Riga, establishing a nearby outpost in 1158.

Along with German traders also arrived the monk Meinhard of Segeberg to convert the pagans to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. (Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 and Orthodox Christianity
Orthodox Christianity
The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:* the Eastern Orthodox Church and its various geographical subdivisions...

 had already arrived in Latvia more than a century earlier, and many Latvians baptised) Meinhard settled among the Livs, building a castle and church at Ikšķile
Ikškile
Ikšķile is a town in Latvia, the administrative centre of Ikšķile municipality. It was the first capital of the catholic bishopric of Livonia, known by the German name of Üxküll. Saint Meinhard, known from the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, was the first bishop of Üxküll. In 1197 Berthold of...

, upstream from Riga, and established his bishopric there. The Livs, however, continued to practice paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 and Meinhard died in Ikšķile in 1196, having failed his mission. In 1198 the Bishop Bertold arrived with a contingent of crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 and commenced a campaign of forced Christianization
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

. Bertold was killed soon afterwards and his forces defeated.

The Church mobilised to avenge. Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death. His birth name was Lotario dei Conti di Segni, sometimes anglicised to Lothar of Segni....

 issued a bull declaring a crusade against the Livonians
Livonian people
The Livonians or Livs are the indigenous inhabitants of Livonia, a large part of what is today northwestern Latvia and southwestern Estonia. They spoke the Uralic Livonian language, a language which is closely related to Estonian and Finnish...

. Bishop Albert was proclaimed Bishop of Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

 by his uncle Hartwig of Uthlede
Hartwig of Uthlede
Hartwig of Uthlede was - as Hartwig II - Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and one of the originators of the Livonian Crusade. Coming from a family of the Bremian Ministerialis at Uthlede, he was a canon of Bremen Cathedral and a clerk of Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony, House of Guelph, before becoming...

, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg in 1199. Albert landed in Riga in 1200 with 23 ships and 500 Westphalian crusaders. In 1201 he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from Ikšķile to Riga, extorting agreement to do so from the elders of Riga by force.

Under Bishop Albert

1201 also marked the first arrival of German merchants in Novgorod, via the Dvina. To defend territory and trade, Albert established the Order of Livonian Brothers of the Sword
Livonian Brothers of the Sword
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were a military order founded by Bishop Albert of Riga in 1202. Pope Innocent III sanctioned the establishment in 1204. The membership of the order comprised German "warrior monks"...

 in 1202, open to nobles and merchants.

Christianization of the Livs continued. 1207 marked Albert's start on fortification of the town. Emperor Philip's
Philip of Swabia
Philip of Swabia was king of Germany and duke of Swabia, the rival of the emperor Otto IV.-Biography:Philip was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Frederick I and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, daughter of Renaud III, count of Burgundy, and brother of the emperor Henry VI...

 invested Albert with Livonia as a fief and principality of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. To promote a permanent military presence, territorial ownership was divided between the Church and the Order, with the Church taking Riga and two thirds of all lands conquered and granting the Order a third. Until then, it had been customary for crusaders to serve for a year and then return home.

Albert had ensured Riga's commercial future by obtaining papal bulls which decreed that all German merchants had to carry on their Baltic trade through Riga. In 1211, Riga minted its first coinage, and Albert laid the cornerstone for the Riga Dom. Riga was not yet secure as an alliance of tribes failed to take Riga. In 1212, Albert led a campaign to compel Polotsk to grant German merchants free river passage. Polotsk conceded Kukenois (Koknese
Koknese
Koknese is a historic town in Latvia, the administrative centre of Koknese municipality on the right bank of the Daugava River. It has a population of nearly 3,000.-History:...

) and Jersika to Albert, also ending the Livs' tribute to Polotsk.

Riga's merchant citizenry chafed and sought greater autonomy from the Church. In 1221 they acquired the right to independently self-administer Riga. and adopted a city constitution

That same year Albert was compelled to recognize Danish rule over lands they had conquered in Estonia and Livonia. Albert had sought the aid of King Valdemar of Denmark
Valdemar II of Denmark
Valdemar II , called Valdemar the Victorious or Valdemar the Conqueror , was the King of Denmark from 1202 until his death in 1241. The nickname Sejr is a later invention and was not used during the King's own lifetime...

 to protect Riga and Livonian lands against Liv insurrection when reinforcements could not reach Riga. The Danes landed in Livonia, built a fortress at Reval (Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

), and set about conquering Estonian and Livonian lands. The Germans attempted, but failed, to assassinate Valdemar. Albert was able to reach an accommodation a year later, however, and in 1222 Valdemar returned all Livonian lands and possessions to Albert's control.

Albert's difficulties with Riga's citizenry continued; with papal intervention, a settlement was reached in 1225 whereby they no longer had to pay tax to the Bishop of Riga, and Riga's citizens acquired the right to elect their magistrates and town councilors. In 1226, Albert consecrated the Dom Cathedral, built St. James's Church, and founding a parochial school at the Church of St. George.

In 1227, Albert conquered Oesel and the city of Riga concluded a treaty with the Principality of Smolensk
Principality of Smolensk
The Principality of Smolensk was a Kievan Rus' lordship from the eleventh to the fifteenth century...

 giving Polotsk to Riga.

Albert died in January 1229. He failed his aspiration to be anointed archbishop but the German hegemony he established over the Baltics would last for seven centuries.

Hanseatic League

In 1282 Riga became a member of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

. The Hansa was instrumental in giving Riga economic and political stability, thus providing the city with a strong foundation which endured the political conflagrations that were to come, down to modern times.

Holy Roman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish and Russian Empires

As the influence of the Hansa waned, Riga became the object of foreign military, political, religious and economic aspirations. Riga accepted the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 in 1522, ending the power of the archbishops. In 1524, a venerated statue of the Virgin Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 in the Cathedral was denounced as a witch, and given a trial by water in the Daugava River. The statue floated, so it was denounced as a witch and burnt at Kubsberg. With the demise of the Livonian Order
Livonian Order
The Livonian Order was an autonomous Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order and a member of the Livonian Confederation from 1435–1561. After being defeated by Samogitians in the 1236 Battle of Schaulen , the remnants of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword were incorporated into the Teutonic Knights...

 during the Livonian War
Livonian War
The Livonian War was fought for control of Old Livonia in the territory of present-day Estonia and Latvia when the Tsardom of Russia faced a varying coalition of Denmark–Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland.During the period 1558–1578,...

, Riga for twenty years had the status of a Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City
In the Holy Roman Empire, a free imperial city was a city formally ruled by the emperor only — as opposed to the majority of cities in the Empire, which were governed by one of the many princes of the Empire, such as dukes or prince-bishops...

 of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 before it came under the influence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Treaty of Drohiczyn
Treaty of Drohiczyn
The Treaty of Drohiczyn was concluded on 14 January 1581, during the Livonian War, between the city of Riga and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The former Free imperial city Riga was added to Polish-Lithuanian Livonia. Its freedoms and privileges were in part confirmed in the Corpus...

, which ended the war for Riga in 1581. In 1621, during the Polish–Swedish War (1621–1625), Riga and the outlying fortress of Daugavgriva
Daugavgriva
Daugavgrīva is a neighbourhood in North West Riga, Latvia on the left bank of Daugava river. In this neighbourhood there is located Swedish built strong fortress on the Daugava River's left bank, commanding it's mouth.-Fortress:...

 came under the rule of Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustav II Adolf has been widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus Magnus and variously in historical writings also as Gustavus, or Gustavus the Great, or Gustav Adolph the Great,...

, King of Sweden, who intervened in the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 not only for political and economic gain but also in favour of German Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. During the Russo-Swedish War (1656–1658), Riga withstood a siege by Russian forces.

Riga remained the largest city in Sweden until 1710, a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous self-government. In that year, in the course of the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

, Russia under Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 besieged Riga. Along with the other Livonian towns and gentry, Riga capitulated to Russia
Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia
With the Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710 the Swedish dominions Estonia and Livonia were integrated into the Russian Empire following their conquest during the Great Northern War...

, but largely retained their privileges. Riga was made the capital of the Governorate of Riga (later: Livonia). Sweden's northern dominance
Swedish Empire
The Swedish Empire refers to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721 . During this time, Sweden was one of the great European powers. In Swedish, the period is called Stormaktstiden, literally meaning "the Great Power Era"...

 had ended, and Russia's emergence as the strongest Northern power
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 was formalised through the Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad
The Treaty of Nystad was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War. It was concluded between the Tsardom of Russia and Swedish Empire on 30 August / 10 September 1721 in the then Swedish town of Nystad , after Sweden had settled with the other parties in Stockholm and Frederiksborg.During...

 in 1721. Peter the Great was a big fan of Riga. He married Latvian Martha Skavronskaya, after his death known as Empress Ekaterina I. Having received a palace as a gift from the municipality of Riga (although he insisted on paying), Peter used to visit Riga regularly. He helped to rebuild the tallest church in Riga (St.Peter's church) after it was burned down, and created a general plan for Riga's development, including planning many parks and boulevards, and planting some trees himself. Riga became an industrialised port city of the Russian empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, in which it remained until World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. By 1900, Riga was the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in terms of the number of industrial workers and number of theatres.
During these many centuries of war and changes of power in the Baltic, and despite demographic changes, the Baltic Germans in Riga had maintained a dominant position. By 1867 Riga's population was 42.9% German. Riga employed German as its official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of administration until the installation of Russian in 1891 as the official language in the Baltic provinces, as part of the policy of Russification
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

 of the non-Russian speaking territories of the Russian Empire, including Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, Finland and the Baltics, undertaken by Tsar Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

. More and more Latvians started moving to the city during the mid-19th century. The rise of a Latvian bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 made Riga a centre of the Latvian National Awakening
Latvian National Awakening
The Latvian National Awakening refers to three distinct but ideologically related National revival movements:* the First Awakening refers to the national revival led by the Young Latvians from the 1850s to the 1880s,...

 with the founding of the Riga Latvian Association in 1868 and the organisation of the first national song festival in 1873. The nationalist movement of the Young Latvians
Young Latvians
Young Latvians is the term most often applied to the intellectuals of the first Latvian National Awakening , active from the 1850s to the 1880s. "Jaunlatvieši" is also sometimes translated as "New Latvians," but "Young Latvians" is the more accurate term because it was modeled on the Young Germany...

 was followed by the socialist New Current
New Current
The New Current in the history of Latvia was a broad leftist social and political movement that followed the First Latvian National Awakening and culminated in the 1905 Revolution...

 during the city's rapid industrialisation, culminating in the 1905 Revolution led by the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party
Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party
The Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party is a centre-left, social democratic party in Latvia. It has a long history but is not represented in the current parliament of Latvia.-History:...

.

Interwar period

The 20th century brought World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the impact of the Russian Revolution of 1917 to Riga. The German army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

 marched into Riga on 3 September 1917. On 3 March 1918 the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 was signed, giving the Baltic countries
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 to Germany. Because of the Armistice with Germany
Armistice with Germany (Compiègne)
The armistice between the Allies and Germany was an agreement that ended the fighting in the First World War. It was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender...

 of 11 November 1918, Germany had to renounce that treaty, as did Russia, leaving Latvia and the other Baltic States in a position to claim independence. Latvia, with Riga as its capital city, thus declared its independence on November 18, 1918.
Between World War I and World War II (1918–1940), Riga and Latvia shifted their focus from Russia to the countries of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. The United Kingdom and Germany replaced Russia as Latvia's major trade partners.

World War II and the Soviet Union

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Latvia was occupied first by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in June 1940 and then by Nazi Germany in 1941–1944
Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany was completed on July 10, 1941 by Germany's armed forces. Latvia became a part of Nazi Germany's Reichskommissariat Ostland — the Province General of Latvia...

. The Baltic Germans were forcibly repatriated to Germany. The city's Jewish community
Kehilla (modern)
The Kehilla is the local Jewish communal structure that was reinstated in the early twentieth century as a modern, secular, and religious sequel of the Qahal in Central and Eastern Europe, more particularly in Poland's Second Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukrainian People's Republic,...

 was forced into the Riga Ghetto
Riga Ghetto
The Riga Ghetto was a small area in Maskavas Forštate, neighborhood of Riga, Latvia, designated by the Nazis where Jews from Latvia, and later from Germany, were forced to live during World War II. On October 25, 1941, the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto while the...

 and concentration camps
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 were constructed in Kaiserwald and the city of Salaspils
Salaspils
Salaspils is a town in Latvia, the administrative centre of Salaspils municipality. The town is situated on the northern bank of the Daugava River 18 kilometers to the south-east of the city of Riga.-History:...

.

In October 1944 Latvia was once again occupied by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. As a result of the war Latvia lost approximately one-third of its population. Industrialization and growth of infrastructure led to many people from other parts of Soviet Union moving to Riga, and most of those people were not of Latvian ethnicity. In effect, as a Latvian city it never really had a majority Latvian population other than a short 20 year long period between wars.

Restoration of independence and onwards

The policy of economic reform, introduced in 1986 as Perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

, led to dissolution of the Soviet Union and restoration of independent Latvia in 1991. Latvia formally joined the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 as an independent country on 17 September 1991. In 2004 Latvia joined both NATO and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

.

In 2004, the arrival of low-cost airlines
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

 resulted in cheaper flights from other European cities such as London and Berlin and consequently a substantial increase in numbers of tourists.

Administrative divisions

  • Central District
    Central District, Riga
    Central District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (3 km²)
  • Kurzeme District
    Kurzeme District, Riga
    Kurzeme District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (79 km²)
  • Zemgale Suburb
    Zemgale Suburb, Riga
    Zemgale Suburb is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (41 km²)
  • Northern District
    Northern District, Riga
    Northern District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (77 km²)
  • Vidzeme Suburb
    Vidzeme Suburb, Riga
    Northern District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (57 km²)
  • Latgale Suburb
    Latgale Suburb, Riga
    Latgale Suburb is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

     (50 km²)


Riga administrative divisions consists of six administrative entities: Central
Central District, Riga
Central District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

, Kurzeme
Kurzeme District, Riga
Kurzeme District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

 and Northern Districts
Northern District, Riga
Northern District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

 and the Latgale
Latgale Suburb, Riga
Latgale Suburb is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

, Vidzeme
Vidzeme Suburb, Riga
Northern District is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

 and Zemgale Suburbs
Zemgale Suburb, Riga
Zemgale Suburb is one of six administrative districts of Riga, the capital of Latvia....

. Three entities were established 1 September 1941, and other three were established October 1969. There are no official lower level administrative units, but the Riga City Council Development Agency is working on a plan, which officially confirmed makes Riga consist of 58 neighbourhoods. The current names were confirmed 28 December 1990.

Climate

The climate of Riga is humid continental
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Koppen Dfb). The coldest months are January and February, when the average temperature is -5 °C but temperatures as low as -20 °C to -25 °C can be observed almost every year on the coldest days. The proximity of the sea causes frequent autumn rains and fogs. Continuous snow cover may last eighty days. The summers in Riga are warm and humid with the average temperature of 18 °C (64 °F), while the temperature on the hottest days can exceed 30 °C (86 °F).

Economy

Business and leisure travel to Riga have increased significantly in recent years because of improved infrastructure. Most tourists travel to Riga by air via Riga International Airport
Riga International Airport
-Cargo airlines:*DHL Express*Inversija*RAF-Avia*Sprintair*TNT NV*Transavibaltika*UPS-Traffic statistics:Riga International Airport is one of three notable airports in Latvia. The other two are Liepāja International Airport and Ventspils Airport. Riga International Airport's biggest air carrier is...

, the largest airport in the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, which was renovated and modernised in 2001 on the occasion of Riga's 800th anniversary. In the near future, the face of Riga will undergo notable changes. The construction of a new landmark—the Latvian National Library building—began in the autumn of 2007 and was due to be complete by 2010. There have been some delays and work still continues. Currently discussions are underway in Riga council about the development of the central areas on the left bank of the Daugava. The major dispute surrounds plans to build skyscrapers in Ķīpsala, which UNESCO warned "could seriously endanger the status of the Historic Centre of Riga as a World Heritage Site." The construction of 3 buildings in Ķīpsala has already started — the Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 complex (25 floors) and two high-rises called Z-Towers (30 floors). Almost all important Latvian financial institution
Financial institution
In financial economics, a financial institution is an institution that provides financial services for its clients or members. Probably the most important financial service provided by financial institutions is acting as financial intermediaries...

s are located in Riga, including the Bank of Latvia, which is Latvia's central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

. Foreign commercial trade through Riga has been on the increase in recent years and received new impetus on May 1, 2004 when Latvia became a member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Riga accounts for about half of the total industrial output of Latvia, focusing on the financial sector, public utilities
Public utility
A public utility is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service . Public utilities are subject to forms of public control and regulation ranging from local community-based groups to state-wide government monopolies...

, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, wood processing, printing and publishing, textiles and furniture, and communications equipment manufacturing. More than 50% of Latvian companies are registered in Riga region. The port of Riga is an important cargo shipping centre. It is the main all-weather port in the Baltic and is expected to grow in the next few years because of increased trade with other ex-Soviet states and the People's Republic of China.

AirBaltic
AirBaltic
A/S Air Baltic Corporation, operating as AirBaltic and styled as airBaltic, is the Latvian flag carrier airline and a low-cost carrier, with its head office on the grounds of Riga International Airport in Mārupe municipality, near the capital, Riga...

, the national airline of Latvia, has its head office on the grounds of Riga International Airport
Riga International Airport
-Cargo airlines:*DHL Express*Inversija*RAF-Avia*Sprintair*TNT NV*Transavibaltika*UPS-Traffic statistics:Riga International Airport is one of three notable airports in Latvia. The other two are Liepāja International Airport and Ventspils Airport. Riga International Airport's biggest air carrier is...

 in Riga. RAF-Avia
RAF-Avia
RAF-Avia is an airline based in Riga, Latvia. It operates cargo services for TNT, DHL and others, as well as transport for the military and the United Nations and passenger charters. Its main base is Riga International Airport .-History:...

 has its head office in Riga.

Infrastructure

Riga, with its central geographic position and concentration of population, has always been the infrastructural hub of Latvia. Several national roads begin in Riga, and European route E22
European route E22
The European route E 22 is one of the longest European routes. It has a length of about . Many of the E-roads have been extended into Asia since the year 2000; the E 22 was extended on 24 June 2002.-United Kingdom:...

 crosses Riga from the east and west, while the Via Baltica
European route E67
European route E 67 is a E-road running from Prague in the Czech Republic to Helsinki in Finland by way of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia....

 crosses Riga from the south and north.

As a city situated by a river, Riga also has several bridges. The oldest standing bridge is the Railway Bridge
Railway Bridge, Riga
The Railway Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Daugava river in Riga, the capital of Latvia.The first iron railway bridge in Riga, over 600 ftm long, was erected in 1871-1872 for Riga - Jelgava railroad....

, which is also the only railroad-carrying bridge in Riga. The Stone Bridge connects Old Riga
Vecriga
Vecrīga is the historical center of Riga, Latvia, located on the east side of Daugava River. Vecrīga is famous for its old churches and cathedrals, such as Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's church.- Origins :...

 and Pārdaugava
Pardaugava
Pārdaugava is an area of Riga, composed of several neighbourhoods on the west bank of Daugava River. The name is literally translated as 'over Daugava'....

; the Island Bridge
Island Bridge, Riga
The Island Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Daugava river in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The bridge was built in the period from 1975 to 1977.- References :...

 connects Maskavas Forštate
Maskavas Forštate
Maskavas Forštate , also Maskačka is an old Riga neighbourhood situated on the right bank of the river Daugava. This neighborhood is located to the south of the old City of Riga along the road connecting Riga to Moscow, from which its name is derived....

 and Pārdaugava via Zaķusala
Zakusala
Zaķusala is one of several islands in the Daugava river in the central part of the city Riga, the capital of Latvia. Zaķusala is home to the Riga Radio and TV Tower, which was completed in 1986. The tower is the tallest structure in the Baltic states...

; and the Shroud Bridge connects Old Riga and Pārdaugava via Ķīpsala
Kipsala
Ķīpsala is an island on the left bank of the Daugava river, connected to Riga city center and Pārdaugava by the Shroud Bridge. Ķīpsala is divided from the rest of Riga by the Daugava in the east, Roņu dīķis in the north, Zunda in the west and Agenskalna līcis in the south.In recent years Ķīpsala...

. In 2008, the first stage of the new Southern Bridge
Southern Bridge
The Southern Bridge crosses the Daugava river in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The bridge was constructed between 2004 and 2008, and was opened on November 17, 2008...

 route across the Daugava was completed, and was opened to traffic on November 17. The Southern Bridge is currently the biggest construction project in the Baltic states in 20 years, and it is to reduce traffic congestion
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

 in the city centre. Another major construction project is the planned Riga Northern Transport Corridor
Transport corridor
A transportation corridor is a tract of land in which at least one main line for transport, be it road, rail or canal, has been built...

, which is scheduled to commence in 2010.

The Freeport of Riga
Freeport of Riga
Freeport of Riga is the port authority of Riga, Latvia. The freeport lies at the banks of the Daugava river covering approximately in length. The Freeport of Riga authority is situated at the address 12 Kalpaka Boulevard.- External links :*...

 facilitates cargo and passenger traffic by sea. Sea ferries currently connect Riga to Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 and Lübeck
Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

, operated respectively by Tallink
Tallink
Tallink is an Estonian shipping company currently operating Baltic Sea cruiseferries and ropax ships from Estonia to Finland, Estonia to Sweden, Latvia to Sweden and Finland to Germany. They also own Silja Line and a part of SeaRail...

 and DFDS Tor Line
DFDS Tor Line
DFDS Tor Line was a freight shipping company owned by the Denmark-based DFDS. DFDS Tor Line was a freight-carrying division of DFDS along with DFDS Lisco, DFDS Lys Line and DFDS Container Line...

. The Latvian-flagged ferries MS Romantika
MS Romantika
MS Romantika is a cruiseferry operated by the Estonian ferry company Tallink on a route connecting Stockholm, Sweden to Riga, Latvia. She was built in 2002 by Aker Finnyards, Rauma and she was the first ever newbuilding to be delivered to Tallink...

 and MS Silja Festival are located in the Riga Passenger Terminal
Riga Passenger Terminal
Riga Passenger Terminal is a terminal in Riga, Latvia, that services public and private passenger traffic by sea. The terminal is situated at the address 3A Eksporta Street - References :...

.

Riga has one active airport that serves commercial airlines — the Riga International Airport
Riga International Airport
-Cargo airlines:*DHL Express*Inversija*RAF-Avia*Sprintair*TNT NV*Transavibaltika*UPS-Traffic statistics:Riga International Airport is one of three notable airports in Latvia. The other two are Liepāja International Airport and Ventspils Airport. Riga International Airport's biggest air carrier is...

 (RIX), built in 1973. Renovation and modernization of the airport was completed in 2001, coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the city. In 2006, a new terminal extension was opened. Work on an extension of the runway was completed in October 2008, and the airport is now able to accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A340, Boeing 747, 757, 767 and 777. The annual number of passengers has grown from 310,000 in 1993 to over 4 million in 2009. It has now become the largest airport in the Baltic States, and there are plans to construct a new terminal to cope with increasing passenger numbers.

Riga was also home to an air base during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 — Rumbula Air Base. Another airport, the Spilve Airport
Spilve Airport
Spilve Airport is a former civilian and military airport in Latvia located 5 km north of the Riga city centre, from which aircraft took off as early as the First World War. It became the first international airport of Riga in the 1930s and fell into disuse in 1980s after the new Riga...

, is a former civilian and military airport in Riga located 5 km (3.11 mi) from Riga city centre, with active aircraft operating as early as the First World War. It became the first international airport of Riga in the 1930s, which, from 1937 linked the capital city with Helsinki via Tallinn, Warsaw via Vilnius, Berlin and Moscow via Kaunas. After World War II and the Soviet occupation, it was rebuilt into a 1950s-era airport, the hub of Aeroflot. A new ring taxiway and restored surface was added. The airport was closed for regular flights in the late 1980s. The terminal building still remains as a notable example of Stalin's neoclassical architecture.

Public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

ation in the city is provided by Rīgas Satiksme
Rigas Satiksme
Rīgas Satiksme is a limited liability company of Riga municipality which operates public transport and vehicle hire in the Latvian capital Riga and its surrounding areas. The organisation's principal activities involve the operation of the city's 476 buses, 354 trolleybuses and 267 trams. It is...

 which operates a large number of tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s, bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

es and trolleybus
Trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...

es on an extensive network of routes across the city. In addition, many private owners operate minibus
Minibus
A minibus or minicoach is a passenger carrying motor vehicle that is designed to carry more people than a multi-purpose vehicle or minivan, but fewer people than a full-size bus. In the United Kingdom, the word "minibus" is used to describe any full-sized passenger carrying van. Minibuses have a...

 services. Riga is connected to the rest of Latvia by trains operated by the national railway company Passenger Train, whose headquarters are in Riga. There are also international rail links to Russia and Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

. Riga International Coach Terminal
Riga International Coach Terminal
Riga International Coach Terminal is a bus station in Riga, Latvia, for both domestic and international bus lines. The terminal is situated at the address 1 Prāgas iela, right next to the Riga Central Railway Station. The terminal was built in 1964 and has 33 terminals.- International :- External...

 provides domestic and international connections by coach
Coach (vehicle)
A coach is a large motor vehicle, a type of bus, used for conveying passengers on excursions and on longer distance express coach scheduled transport between cities - or even between countries...

. Current plans envisage a trans-European rail link
Rail Baltica
thumb|300px|Map of Rail Baltica...

 from Tallinn to Warsaw via Riga financed by the European Union, with the first phase to be completed by 2013.

Demographics

With 702,891 inhabitants in July 2011, Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, though its population has decreased from just under 1 million in 1991. Notable causes include emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 and low birth rates. Some have estimated that the population may fall by as much as 50% by 2050. According to the January 2011 data, ethnic Latvians make up 42.4% of the population of Riga, with the percentage of ethnic Russians at 40.7%, Belarusians at 4.2%, Ukrainians at 3.8%, Poles at 2.0%, and other ethnicities at 6.9%. By comparison, 59.4% of Latvia's total population are ethnic Latvians, 27.6% are Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, 3.6% are Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

, 2.5% are Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, 2.3% are Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, 1.3% are Lithuanians and the remaining 3.3% are accounted for by other ethnicities (2010).

Upon the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, Soviet era immigrants (and any of their offspring born before 1991) were not automatically granted Latvian citizenship because they had migrated to the territory of Latvia during the years of the Soviet occupation. The proportion of ethnic Latvians in Riga has increased from 36.5% in 1989 to 42.4% in 2010. In contrast the percentage of Russians has fallen from 47.3% to 40.7% in the same time period. Latvians overtook Russians as the largest ethnic group in 2006.

In 2005, 16.2% of the population were living under the poverty line, and the most vulnerable groups were children, young adults and senior citizens.

Notable residents

  • Emīlija Benjamiņa
    Emīlija Benjamiņa
    Emīlija Benjamiņa became the richest person in pre-World War II Latvia...

    , richest person in pre-World War II Latvia
  • Miervaldis Jursevskis
    Miervaldis Jursevskis
    Miervaldis Jursevskis is a Latvian-Canadian chess master.He left Riga in 1945, just just prior to the Soviet forces arriving. As a displaced person after World War II, he took place in several chess events in Germany, including Blomberg and Lübeck , Meerbeck , and Hanau...

    , Latvian-Canadian chess master
  • Lola Hoffmann
    Lola Hoffmann
    Lola Hoffmann was a physiologist, psychiatrist and guide to self development and transformation.-First years:...

    , physiologist, psychiatrist and guide to self development and transformation
  • Charles Kalme
    Charles Kalme
    Charles Ivars Kalme was an American International Master of chess recognized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, and a mathematician.Kalme was born in Riga, Latvia on November 15, 1939...

    , American International Master of chess and mathematician
  • Yeshayahu Leibowitz
    Yeshayahu Leibowitz
    Yeshayahu Leibowitz was an Israeli public intellectual and polymath known for his outspoken opinions on Judaism, ethics, religion and politics.- Biography :...

    , Riga-born Israeli public intellectual and polymath
  • Tanhum Cohen-Mintz
    Tanhum Cohen-Mintz
    Tanhum Cohen-Mintz is a former Israeli basketball player. He is 6' 8" tall, and played center.-Basketball career:He played for Maccabi Tel Aviv....

    , Riga-born Israeli basketball player
  • Andris Biedriņš
    Andris Biedrinš
    Andris Biedriņš is a Latvian professional basketball player who plays the power forward and center positions for the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He was drafted by the Warriors with the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft.-FIBA career:...

    , Riga-born professional basketball player for the NBA's Golden State Warriors
  • Marian Pahars
    Marian Pahars
    Marians Pahars is a Latvian former footballer, currently the manager of Skonto FC. He spent most of his career as a striker at Southampton in the Premier League and with Skonto in Latvia....

    , Former footballer and now manager of Skonto FC, based in Riga.

Buildings

The radio and TV tower of Riga is the tallest structure in Latvia and the Baltic States, and one of the tallest in the European Union.
It is the 13th tallest TV tower in the world, reaching 368.5 m (1,209 ft). The tallest office/apartment buildings in Latvia are the main office building of Swedbank (known as Saules akmens — the Sun Stone) and the Panorama Plaza tower complex.
class="wikitable" style="font-size:95%;">
Tallest buildings
Name High Floors year
1. Saules akmens 123 28 2004
2. Panorama Plaza II 114 32 2007
3. Zinātņu akadēmijas augstceltne 108 21 1955
4. Panorama Plaza I 99 27 2006
5. Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija 95 27 1976
6. Zemkopības ministrijas augstceltne 92 26 1976
7. Latvijas Televīzijas augstceltne 89 22 1987
8. AstraLux 81 24 2007
9. Solaris I 78 25 2005
10. Solaris II 78 25 2005
11. Preses nams 77 22 1977
12. Skanstes virsotnes I 76 24 2008
13. Skanstes virsotnes II 76 24 2008
14. Skanstes virsotnes III 76 24 2009
15. Rietumu banka
Rietumu Banka
Rietumu Banka - JSC Rietumu Banka is a Latvian commercial bank that was established in 1992. It is one of the largest private banks in the Baltic States, specialising in corporate banking and affluent individuals...

70 20 2008
16. Centra nams 69 9 2005
17. Gaismas pils 68 13 2012
18. Gloria 63 18 2005
19. Liberta 63 18 2006
20. Fortuna
Fortuna
Fortuna can mean:*Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck -Geographical:*19 Fortuna, asteroid*Fortuna, California, town located on the north coast of California*Fortuna, United States Virgin Islands...

63 18 2008
21. Verita 63 18 2008
22. Victoria 63 18 2009
class="wikitable" style="font-size:95%;"> tallest towers and church Name High year 1. Rīgas radio un televīzijas tornis 368 1987 2. Rīgas Svētā Pētera baznīca 123 1746 3. Āgenskalna televīzijas tornis 110 1955 4. Vanšu tilta pilons 109 1981 5. Rīgas Doms 90 1776 6. Rīgas Svētā Jēkaba katedrāle 86 1225 7. Uzvaras piemineklis 79 1985 8. Rīgas Jaunā Svētās Ģertrūdes baznīca 69 1906 9. Rīgas Vecā Svētās Ģertrūdes baznīca 63 1869

Culture

Theatres

  • The Latvian National Opera
    Latvian National Opera
    The Latvian National Opera , Riga, is the national opera of Latvia. The opera company includes the Latvian National Ballet , LNO Chorus, and LNO Orchestra.-History:...

     was founded in 1918. The repertoire of the theatre embraces all opera masterpieces. The Latvian National Opera is famous not only for its operas, but for its ballet troupe as well.
  • The Latvian National Theatre was founded in 1919. This theatre is situated in one of the most beautiful buildings in Riga. The Latvian National Theatre preserves the traditions of Latvian
    Culture of Latvia
    The culture of Latvia combines traditional Latvian and Livonian heritage with influences of the country's varied historical heritage.-History:...

     drama school
    Drama school
    A drama school or theatre school is an undergraduate and/or graduate school or department at a college or university; or a free-standing institution ; which specialises in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts administration, and...

    . It is one of the biggest theatres in Latvia.http://www.teatris.lv/
  • The Riga Russian Theatre is the oldest professional drama theatre in Latvia
    Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

    , established in 1883. The repertoire of the theatre includes classical plays and experimental performances of Russian
    Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

     and other foreign playwrights.Riga Russian Theatre
  • The Daile Theatre was opened for the first time in 1920. It is one of the most successful theatres in Latvia. This theatre is distinguished by its frequent productions of modern foreign plays.
  • Latvian State Puppet Theatre was founded in 1944. This theatre presents shows for children and adults.http://www.puppet.lv/
  • The New Riga Theatre was opened in 1992. It has an intelligent and attractive repertoire of high quality that focused on a modern, educated and socially active audience. Jaunais Rigas Teatris

Sports clubs

  • Basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    • Barons LMT
      Barons LMT
      BK Barons/O!Karte is a professional basketball club, which is based in Riga, Latvia. Its head coach is Kārlis Muižnieks.-History:...

        — a men's basketball team, two-time Latvian champion, as well as the 2008 FIBA EuroCup winner.
    • TTT Riga
      TTT Riga
      TTT Rīga is the name of a professional women's basketball club based in Riga, Latvia. "TTT" means Tram and Trolley Trust.-History:TTT women's basketball team was founded in 1958. The team was to arrive by tram and trolley under the auspices of a trust. The first TTT Riga game was played on November...

       — a women's basketball team, which between 1960 and 1982 won eighteen FIBA EuroLeague Women titles.
    • VEF Riga
      VEF Riga
      VEF Rīga is the name of a professional basketball club that is based in Riga, Latvia. The club plays their home domestic league games at Olimpiskais Sporta Centrs in Riga. VEF Rīga is the oldest professional basketball club in Latvia and the Baltic region. The club name VEF came from the radio...

  • Ice hockey
    Ice hockey
    Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

    • Dinamo Riga
      Dinamo Riga
      Dinamo Riga was an ice hockey club, based in Riga, Latvia. It was founded in 1946 and disestablished in 1995 as Pārdaugava Rīga.-History of Dinamo Riga:...

       — an ice hockey club established in 2008. It plays in the Kontinental Hockey League
      Kontinental Hockey League
      The Kontinental Hockey League is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe....

      . Dinamo was established as a successor to the former hockey team with the same name, which was founded in 1946 but ceased to exist in 1995.
  • Football
    • Skonto FC
      Skonto FC
      Skonto FC is a Latvian football club, founded in 1991. The club plays at the Skonto Stadium in Riga. Skonto won the Virsliga in the first 14 seasons of the league's existence , and often provides the core of the Latvia national football team...

       — a football club established in 1991. The club won fourteen successive Latvian Higher League titles. For a long time it provided the core of the Latvian national football team.
    • FK Jaunība
      FK Jauniba Riga
      FK Jaunība is Latvian football club located in Riga. The club currently plays in Virsliga - the top tier of Latvian football. Previously they played in Latvian First League , but after finishing the 2009/2010 season in the 2nd place and winning the relegation/promotion play-off matches against FK...

    • JFK Olimps/RFS

Sports facilities

  • Arena Riga — a multi-purpose arena built in 2006 as the main venue for the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
    2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
    The 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships was the 70th such event hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation. Teams representing 45 countries participated in four levels of competition. The competition also served as qualifications for the 2007 competition...

    . It can hold up to 14,500 people and has hosted ice hockey
    Ice hockey
    Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

    , basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     and volleyball
    Volleyball
    Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

     events, as well as Red Bull X-Fighters
    Red Bull X-Fighters
    Red Bull X-Fighters are freestyle motocross motorbike stunt competitions contested in bullrings and similar venues. Alongside the X Games, they are the most prestigious and most challenging freestyle motocross competitions....

    .
  • Skonto Stadium — a football stadium, built in 2000. It is the main stadium used for games of the Latvian national football team.
  • Daugava Stadium
    Daugava Stadium
    Daugava Stadium a multifunctional stadium in Riga, Latvia, which was opened in 1958. It helds footballl and athletics competitions. Since 1992 Daugava stadium has a Latvian national sports-based status. Before July 1990 the total capacity of the stadium was more than 10 000 people, but after the...

     — a stadium built in 1958, used for both football and athletics.
  • Latvijas Universitates Stadions
    Latvijas Universitates Stadions
    Latvijas Universitātes Stadions is a multi-use stadium in Riga, Latvia. It is currently used mostly for football and rugby matches and is the home stadium of FK Rīga. The stadium holds 5,000 people....


Sports events

  • Eurobasket 1937
    Eurobasket 1937
    The 1937 European Basketball Championship, commonly called Eurobasket 1937, was the second regional championship held by FIBA Europe. Eight national teams affiliated with the International Basketball Federation took part in the competition. Defending champions Latvia hosted the tournament, held...

  • 1999 European Athletics Junior Championships
    1999 European Athletics Junior Championships
    The 1999 European Athletics Junior Championships is the 1999 version of the European Athletics Junior Championships. It was held in Riga, Latvia.-Men's results:-Women's results:- Medal table :-References:* - GBR Athletics* - GBR Athletics...

  • EuroBasket Women 2009
    EuroBasket Women 2009
    The 2009 European Women Basketball Championship, commonly called EuroBasket Women 2009, was the 32nd regional championship held by FIBA Europe. The competition was held in Latvia from June 7 to June 20, 2009....

  • 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
    2006 IIHF World Championship
    -Group B :All times local - Group C :All times local - Group D :All times local -Qualifying round:The top three teams from each group in the Preliminary round advance to the Qualifying Round...

  • Riga Marathon
    Riga Marathon
    The Riga Marathon is an annual road marathon, held in Riga, Latvia. The main sponsor of the marathon is Nordea. It was established in 1991, but has only been a member of AIMS since 2007.Riga Marathon is one of the fastest growing marathons in Northern Europe...


Universities

  • University of Latvia
    University of Latvia
    University of Latvia is a university located in Riga, Latvia. Being established in 1919, University of Latvia is the biggest university in the Baltic states.-History:...

     (LU)
  • Riga Technical University
    Riga Technical University
    Riga Technical University is located in Riga, Latvia.- Riga Polytechnical Institute, 1862-1918 :...

     (RTU)
  • Riga Stradiņš University
    Riga Stradiņš University
    Rīga Stradiņš University is a public university located in the city of Riga, Latvia. The Stradiņš name in the university’s title is fitting, since members of the Stradiņš family have had a significant influence on the course of community and academic life in Latvia for over a century...

     (RSU)
  • Riga Graduate School of Law
    Riga Graduate School of Law
    The Riga Graduate School of Law in Riga is a graduate law school established in 1998 through an international agreement between the Governments of Sweden and Latvia and the Soros Foundation. The Law School is an academically independent institution within the University of Latvia . Current...

     (RGSL)
  • School of Business Administration Turiba
    School of Business Administration Turiba
    The School of Business Administration Turiba is a business school in Latvia. It was founded in 1993.-External links:* - official site...

     (BAT)
  • Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
    Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
    The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, is a business school in Riga, Latvia. It was founded in 1993 as a subsidiary of the Stockholm School of Economics with a mission to provide a state-of-the-art education in business and economics that contributes to the economic and social development of...

     (SSE Riga)
  • BA School of Business and Finance (BA)
  • Transport and Telecommunication Institute
    Transport and Telecommunication Institute
    Transport and Telecommunication Institute — is the largest university-type accredited non-state technical higher educational and scientific establishment in Riga, the capital of Latvia. It was established in 1999, although incorporated the core of a technical and aviation school which dated...

     (TTI)


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Riga maintains sister city relationships with the following cities:
  Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

, Denmark
  Almaty
Almaty
Almaty , also known by its former names Verny and Alma-Ata , is the former capital of Kazakhstan and the nation's largest city, with a population of 1,348,500...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

  Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Netherlands
  Astana
Astana
Astana , formerly known as Akmola , Tselinograd and Akmolinsk , is the capital and second largest city of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

  Beijing, China   Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
  Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

, Germany
  Cairns, Australia
  Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, France
  Dallas, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, United States
  Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy
  Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

  Kobe
Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

, Japan
  Minsk
Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

  Moscow, Russia   Norrköping
Norrköping
Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County. The city has a population of 87,247 inhabitants in 2010, out of a municipal total of 130,050, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest...

, Sweden
  Pori
Pori
Pori is a city and municipality on the west coast of Finland. The city is located some from the Gulf of Bothnia, on the estuary of the Kokemäenjoki river, which is the largest in Finland. Pori is the most important town in the Satakunta region....

, Finland
  Providence
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

, United States
  Rostock
Rostock
Rostock -Early history:In the 11th century Polabian Slavs founded a settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc ; the name Rostock is derived from that designation. The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161.Afterwards the place was settled by German traders...

, Germany
  Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia:
  Santiago
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

  Slough
Slough
Slough is a borough and unitary authority within the ceremonial county of Royal Berkshire, England. The town straddles the A4 Bath Road and the Great Western Main Line, west of central London...

, United Kingdom
  Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
  Suzhou
Suzhou
Suzhou , previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part...

, China
  Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

  Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

  Taskent
Taskent
Taşkent, formerly Pirlerkondu, is a town and district of Konya Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 46,396 of which 10,779 live in the town of Taşkent.-External links:* *...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

  Tartu
Tartu
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia. In contrast to Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, especially since it is home to Estonia's oldest and most renowned university. Situated 186 km southeast of Tallinn, the...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

  Tbilisi
Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi and it was officially known as Tiflis until 1936...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

  Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

  Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland

See also

  • Archbishops of Riga
  • Riga City Council
    Riga City Council
    Riga City Council is the government of Riga City, the capital of Latvia. It is located in the Riga Town Hall at the Town Hall Square in the very heart of Riga....

  • Riga Central Market
    Riga Central Market
    Riga Central Market is Europe's largest market and bazaar in Riga, Latvia. It is one of the most notable structures from 20th century in Latvia and has been included in UNESCO World Heritage Site list together with Old Riga in 1998. It was planned from 1922 and built from 1924 to 1930...

  • Riga Charter
    Riga Charter
    The Riga Charter on Authenticity and Historical Reconstruction in Relationship to Cultural Heritage, known simply as the Riga Charter, is an international charter or a statement of the scope, objectives and participants in cultural heritage projects...

    , on cultural heritage conservation, adopted here in 2000
  • Riga Region
    Riga Region
    Riga Region , officially Riga Planning Region is one of five planning regions of Latvia, situated in the central part of Latvia, in and around the metropolis of Riga and along the shores of the Gulf of Riga. The state institution was founded on 12 October 2006, based on the creation of the region...

  • Rīgas Satiksme
    Rigas Satiksme
    Rīgas Satiksme is a limited liability company of Riga municipality which operates public transport and vehicle hire in the Latvian capital Riga and its surrounding areas. The organisation's principal activities involve the operation of the city's 476 buses, 354 trolleybuses and 267 trams. It is...

  • Riga Salsa Festival
    Riga Salsa Festival
    Riga Salsa Festival is an annual dancing event that takes place in Riga, Latvia.The event has become one of the most important salsa events in the Baltic Countries and many salsa fans from abroad also come to participate....

  • Riga Zoo
    Riga Zoo
    -External links:* - Trip to Riga ZOO...



External links

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