ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Riga Facts and History

Updated on April 8, 2014
Source

Riga (also spelled Rīga) is the capital of Latvia. It is situated near the mouth of the Daugava (Western Dvina) River and the Gulf of Riga, an arm of the Baltic Sea. Riga is a major port, a road and rail junction, and an industrial and cultural center.

Among its leading industries are shipbuilding and repair, food processing, and the manufacture of textiles, transportation and communications equipment, and chemicals. Riga also has an important printing and publishing industry; a state university; an academy of sciences; theaters of opera, ballet, and drama; and many museums. The city is dotted with parks. The coastal resort of Jurmala is on the gulf.

Source

Although the site was earlier settled by Livonians and German merchants, Riga is considered to date from 1201, when Bishop Albert made it the headquarters of the Knights of the Sword, a military-religious order that later (1237) merged with the Teutonic Knights. The city grew rapidly and became a center for the expansion of Christianity—and German influence—throughout the Baltic region. Although the surrounding area of Livonia came under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Empire in 1207, Riga was ruled by its bishop (later, archbishop) until 1282, when it joined the Hanseatic League. The archbishops subsequently regained control, only to lose it in the Reformation, when Riga became Lutheran.

Source

The city maintained its independence for some time after the rest of Livonia came under Polish-Lithuanian rule, but in 1581 it too passed to Poland. In the following century the area became a battleground in the struggle between Poland and Gustavus Adolphus (King Gustav II of Sweden), who captured Riga in 1621. Swedish control, however, was shortly succeeded by Russian: Peter the Great took the city in 1710, and in 1721 the whole of Livonia was formally ceded to Russia.

Russian rule lasted until 1918, when Riga became the capital of the newly proclaimed independent republic of Latvia, which was recognized internationally in 1920. Thereafter the city shared the fate of Latvia, being occupied by the Russians (1940), the Nazis (June 1941), and again the Russians (1944), who incorporated Latvia into the USSR. When Latvia proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Riga became the nation's capital.

Riga's history is reflected in its architecture, which exhibits all styles from medieval Gothic through Soviet monumental. Considerable damage was done to some of the city's historical structures during World War II, but many of them have been restored. The oldest buildings are found in the Old Town, on the right bank of the Daugava. Examples of secular architecture include Hanseatic warehouses and the houses known as the Three Brothers (15th–17th century). A number of the Old Town's buildings have their origins in the Middle Ages, yet they have experienced so much reconstruction and conversion that multiple styles can be found in individual buildings. The Castle of the Knights, which overlooks the river and houses a museum, was originally built in the 13th century, destroyed and rebuilt in the 15th century, and added on to in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Although founded in 1211, the Dome Cathedral shows traces of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque architecture. Saint Peter's Church, which also dates from 1211, was reconstructed in the 15th century and again after World War II.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      4 years ago from The Netherlands

      Like to visit Riga. Seems, judging to your pictures and text, to be a lovely city. Maybe on a trip through the Baltic states that is long overdue. :-(

    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 

      4 years ago from New York

      Before reading your hub I had never heard of Riga. Very interesting facts and great pics. Voted up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)