26 Facts About Riga


Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member.

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Riga was the European Capital of Culture in 2014, along with Umea in Sweden.

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Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, 2013 World Women's Curling Championship and the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

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Riga is a member of Eurocities, the Union of the Baltic Cities and Union of Capitals of the European Union .

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Riga began to develop as a centre of Viking trade during the early Middle Ages.

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Riga's inhabitants occupied themselves mainly with fishing, animal husbandry, and trading, later developing crafts .

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Livonian Chronicle of Henry testifies to Riga having long been a trading centre by the 12th century, referring to it as portus antiquus, and describes dwellings and warehouses used to store mostly flax, and hides.

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In 1201, he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from Uexkull to Riga, extorting agreement to do this from the elders of Riga by force.

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In 1211, Riga minted its first coinage, and Albert laid the cornerstone for the Riga Dom.

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Riga was not yet secure as an alliance of tribes failed to take Riga.

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In 1227, Albert conquered Oesel and the city of Riga concluded a treaty with the Principality of Smolensk giving Polotsk to Riga.

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Riga failed in his aspiration to be anointed archbishop but the German hegemony he established over the Livonia would last for seven centuries.

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Riga accepted the Reformation in 1522, ending the power of the archbishops.

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Riga remained one of the largest cities under the Swedish crown until 1710, a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous self-government.

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At the beginning of the 20th century Riga was the largest timber export port in the Russian Empire and ranked the 3rd according to the external trade volume.

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Riga employed German as its official language of administration until the installation of Russian in 1891 as the official language in the Baltic provinces, as part of the policy of Russification of the non-Russian-speaking territories of the Russian Empire, including Congress Poland, Finland and the Baltics, undertaken by Tsar Alexander III.

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Riga is one of the key economic and financial centres of the Baltic states.

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Riga was intended to become the global financial centre in the former Soviet Union.

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Riga hosted the biannual 2014 World Choir Games from 9 to 19 July 2014 which coincided with the city being named European Capital of Culture for 2014.

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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, reaching 368.

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Riga centre has many great examples of Gothic revival architecture, such as the Kalpaka Boulevard Library, and a bevy of Art Nouveau architecture, as well as a medieval old town.

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Riga has one of the largest collections of Art Nouveau buildings in the world, with at least 800 buildings.

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The middle class of Riga used their acquired wealth to build imposing apartment blocks outside the former city walls.

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Riga has one active airport that serves commercial airlines—the Riga International Airport, built in 1973.

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Riga was home to a military air base during the Cold War—Rumbula Air Base.

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Riga is connected to the rest of Latvia by domestic trains operated by the national carrier Passenger Train, whose headquarters are in Riga.

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