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A mosaic of several views of Riga
A mosaic of several views of Riga


Riga is located in Latvia
Coordinates: 56°56′56″N 24°6′23″E / 56.94889°N 24.10639°E / 56.94889; 24.10639Coordinates: 56°56′56″N 24°6′23″E / 56.94889°N 24.10639°E / 56.94889; 24.10639
Country  Latvia
 - Type City council
 - Mayor Nils Ušakovs
Area(2002) [2]
 - City 307.17 km2 (118.6 sq mi)
 - Water 48.50 km2 (18.7 sq mi)  15.8%
 - Metro 10,132 km2 (3,912 sq mi)
Population (2010[3]
 - City 706,413
 Density 2,299.7/km2 (5,956.3/sq mi)
 Metro 1,098,523 (Riga Region)
 - Metro density 108.3/km2 (280.5/sq mi)
 - Demonym Rīdzinieki
Ethnicity(2010) [4]
 - Latvians 42.4 %
 - Russians 41.0 %
 - Belarusians 4.0 %
 - Ukrainians 3.9 %
 - Poles 2.0 %
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Calling codes 66 & 67
Website www.riga.lv

Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia, a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltic region, and an important seaport, situated on the mouth of the Daugava. In 1935 it had 385,063 inhabitants[5], but by 2010 that had risen to 709,145. It is the largest city of the Baltic states and third-largest in the Baltic region, behind Saint Petersburg and Stockholm (counting residents within the city limits).


The city of Riga was founded in 1200 by Albert von Buxhovden, Bishop of Uexkull, a former Canon of Bremen Cathedral, and founder of the military religious Order of the Brothers of the Sword. He built Riga Cathedral, with new bells, and engaged in a major building programme.[6].


Riga developed into a major Baltic port, and by 1912 Riga, Libau and Windau (all in Latvia), together handled more shipping than St Petersburg. Between 1908 and 1911 those same ports, on which converged three of Russia's great railways, dealt with no less than a third of all exports and imports of European Russia. Riga became the biggest wood-export harbour in Europe and doubled its shipping trade between 1900 and 1913.[7]


From an early date there had been a cathedral school in Riga, which closed its doors during the early Reformation period. The council however, engaged in 1527 the Dutchman Jacobus Battus as a Latin master, and he reopened the Domschule as an evangelical school, based upon Melanchthon's Praeceptor Germaniae curriculum. The town council also offered university scholarships in the 1530s, mostly to Rostock or Wittenberg. From 1525 publications, mostly religious, began appearing in Latvian, the first full book, the Cathechismus Catholicorum in 1585.[8]


  1. Riga City Council. Riga City Council. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  2. Riga in Figures. Riga City Council. Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
  3. Table IE52:Resident Population by Region, City and District at the beginning of the year. csb.gov.lv.
  4. Resident Population by Ethnicity and by Region, Cityr and District at the Bebinning of the Year. csb.gov.lv. Retrieved on 2010-07-22.
  5. Encyclopaedia Britannica Year Book 1938, London, 1938, p.368.
  6. Lettus, Henricus, translated by James A. Brundage, The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, Columbia University Press, New York, 2003, p.xxii, ISBN 0-231-12888-6
  7. Hiden, John, The Baltic States and Weimar Ostpolitik, Cambridge University Press, U.K., 1987, p.65-6. ISBN 0-521-32032-2
  8. Kirby, David, Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period - The Baltic World 1492-1772, London, 1990, p.94. ISBN 0-582-00410-1 CSD
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