World History

Latvia | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Latvia:

Latvia was originally settled by tribes from the Baltic states. Baltic tribes established their own local governments by his 10th century. In the 11th century, Germany began to exert influence over the country. In 1201, the German Bishop of Livonia, Albert, founded the city of Riga, today the capital of Latvia.

For the next 500 years, Germany controlled most of Latvia’s territory. In 1721 Russia took over Latvia. It wasn’t until the late 18th century and early 20th century that Latvia began to promote its own identity. In 1918 Latvia declared independence. In 1921 it became a member of the League of Nations.

During World War II, German forces occupied most of Latvia. Many Latvian Jews were killed by German forces. It is believed that almost a third of Latvia’s population was killed by Germans and Russians during the war. After the war, Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union dramatically changed Latvia by deporting native Latvians to other parts of the Soviet Union and immigrating Soviets to Latvia.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvia became an independent state. It joined the European Union in 2004.

Information about Latvia:

Capital Riga
Population 1,830,211 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Riga (capital), Liepāja, Jūrmala, Ventspils, KSigulda, uldīga, Daugavpils, Jelgava
Borders Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Lithuania to the south, and the Baltic Sea to the west
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $41,153,912,663 (2022 worldometer)
Currency Latvian lat (LVL)

Flag of Latvia:

Latvia Economy Key Industries:

Latvia Major Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars; synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; note – dependent on imports for energy and raw materials

Latvia Agricultural Products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish

Latvia Natural Resources: peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, wood, arable land

Latvia Major Exports: wood and wood products, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs

Latvia Major Imports: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, vehicles

The Geography of Latvia:

Total Size of Latvia: 64,589 sq km (source: 2022 The world factbook)

Geographical Low Point of Latvia: Baltic Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point of Latvia: Gaizinkalns 312 m

Climate of Latvia: maritime; wet, moderate winters

General Terrain of Latvia: low plain

World Region or Continent of Latvia:  Europe

Geographical Coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

The People of  Latvia & Culture

Latvia Government Type: parliamentary democracy

Latvia Nationality: Latvian(s)

Latvia National Holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918); note – 18 November 1918 is the date Latvia declared itself independent from Soviet Russia; 4 May 1990 is when it declared the renewal of independence; 21 August 1991 is the date of de facto independence from the Soviet Union

Latvia Independence: 21 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Latvia National Symbol: white wagtail (bird)

Latvia National Anthem or Song: Dievs, sveti Latviju! (God Bless Latvia)

Latvia Languages Spoken: Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3% (2000 census)

Latvia Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox

Interesting Facts about Latvia:

Although the country of Latvia was only founded in 1918, the Latvian flag is one of the most primitive in the world.

Medieval castles and palaces not only educate visitors about the history of the Middle Ages, they also offer visitors a chance to experience the Middle Ages by taking a themed tour, participating in a variety of medieval activities, or staying overnight in an ancient palace. It also provides an opportunity to experience

Riga is also known as an architectural jewel, with wooden architecture, Art Nouveau and Gothic styles that have stood the test of time. In the Middle Ages, castles were built of stone and brick.

Latvia has one of the highest proportions of female models per capita in the world. Rivals Estonia and Lithuania rank high, as does Denmark. There are beautiful tall women everywhere you look. Her cheekbones are high and her legs are long.

Latvia has nearly 20 hours of sunshine even in midsummer, and locals make the most of this time by partying outdoors and relaxing in nature. The beautiful golden light of this latitude has captivated generations of painters and photographers.

Celebrating Midsummer is one of Latvia’s oldest cultural practices, dating back to pagan times. All over the country, people light bonfires, sing songs, and celebrate the midnight sun.

With about 500 km of coastline, Latvia has many beaches. Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or miles of sandy beaches to yourself, there’s something for everyone, and best of all, it’s all open to the public.

In total, about 20% of the country is under nature conservation. This is a total of 4 national parks, 42 nature parks, 260 nature reserves, 355 natural monuments, 7 marine reserves, 24 micro-reserves and 1 biosphere reserve.