Riga is the largest city of the Republic of Latvia, which is also the cultural and economic center of the southern Baltika, located near the mouth of the Daugava River to the Baltic Sea. This stunning city gained independence from the former USSR in 1990. Today, the city has about 700,000 inhabitants, while the entire area of Riga has about a million inhabitants.
The history of Riga begins with the ancient settlement of Liva, founded by an ancient Finnish tribe at the site of the former river by the same name. Modern historical foundations of development were set in the 12th Century with the arrival of Germanic merchants and cruisers followed by centuries of climaxes and falls, mostly thanks to the great position between the east and the west. The greatest rise and revival of Riga was at the beginning of the 20th Century after the First World War.
Today, the Old Town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has the largest number of buildings in the style of secession in Europe. In the Old Town you can find a number of historic sites such as: Riski castle, Big and Small Enafian House, Barutna Tower, St. Peter’s Church, Alexander Nevsky’s Church, The Opera House, Ethnographic Museum, and many more.
Riga is also called “northern Paris”, so it carefully retains that reputation mostly through architecture, but also through entertainment, such as restaurants, night clubs, bars. An interesting fact about Riga: It is known as the first city in the world to encircle the Christmas tree in the time of Christmas back in 1510.