Riga (/ˈriːɡə/; Latvian: Rīga [ˈriːɡa] ( listen)) is
the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 641,481 inhabitants
(2016), it is also the largest city in the three Baltic states,
home to one third of Latvia's population and one tenth of the three
Baltic states' combined population. The city lies on the Gulf of
Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava. Riga's territory covers 307.17
square kilometres (118.60 square miles) and lies between one and ten
metres (3 feet 3 inches and 32 feet 10 inches)
above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.
Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former
Hanseatic League member.
Riga's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for
its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden
Riga was the
European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture during 2014,
Umeå in Sweden.
Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 2003, the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey
Championships and the 2013 World Women's Curling Championship. It is
home to the European Union's office of European Regulators for
Electronic Communications (BEREC).
Riga received over 1.4 million visitors. It is served by
Riga International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in the
Riga is a member of Eurocities, the Union of the
Baltic Cities (UBC) and Union of Capitals of the European Union
2.2 Under Bishop Albert
2.3 Hanseatic League
2.4 Holy Roman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish
and Russian Empires
2.5 World War I
2.6 World War II
2.7 21st century
3.1 Administrative divisions
5.1 Historic population figures
7.2 World Choir Games
8.1 Art Nouveau
9.1 Sports clubs
9.2 Sports facilities
9.3 Sports events
12 Notable residents
13 Sister cities
14 See also
17 External links
One theory about the origin of the name
Riga is that it is a corrupted
borrowing from the Liv ringa meaning loop, referring to the ancient
natural harbour formed by the tributary loop of the Daugava
River. The other is that
Riga owes its name to this
already-established role in commerce between East and West, as a
borrowing of the Latvian rija, for threshing barn, the "j" becoming a
"g" in German — notably,
Riga is called Rie by English
Richard Hakluyt (1589), and German historian
Dionysius Fabricius (1610) confirms the origin of
rija. Another theory could be that
Riga was named after Riege,
the German name for the River Rīdzene, a tributary of the
History of Riga
History of Riga and Timeline of Riga
Terra Mariana (condominium of Archbishops of
Riga and Livonian Order)
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1582–1629
Swedish Empire 1629–1721
Russian Empire 1721–1917
German Empire 1917–1918
Soviet Union 1940–1941
Nazi Germany 1941–1944
Soviet Union 1944–1991
Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the
Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium. A sheltered
natural harbour 15 km (9.3 mi) upriver from the mouth of the
Daugava — the site of today's Riga — has been recorded,
as Duna Urbs, as early as the 2nd century. It was settled by the
Livs, an ancient Finnic tribe.
The building of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is one of the most
iconic buildings of Old
Riga began to develop as a centre of Viking trade during the early
Middle Ages. Riga's inhabitants occupied themselves mainly with
fishing, animal husbandry, and trading, later developing crafts (in
bone, wood, amber, and iron).
Livonian Chronicle of Henry
Livonian Chronicle of Henry testifies to
Riga having long been a
trading centre by the 12th century, referring to it as portus antiquus
(ancient port), and describes dwellings and warehouses used to store
mostly flax, and hides. German traders began visiting Riga,
establishing a nearby outpost in 1158.
Along with German traders also arrived the monk Meinhard of
Segeberg to convert the Livonian pagans to Christianity. Catholic
Christianity had already arrived in
Latvia more than a
century earlier, and many Latvians baptised. Meinhard settled
among the Livs, building a castle and church at Ikšķile, upstream
from Riga, and established his bishopric there. The Livs, however,
continued to practice paganism and Meinhard died in
Ikšķile in 1196,
having failed his mission. In 1198, the Bishop Berthold arrived
with a contingent of crusaders and commenced a campaign of forced
Christianization. Berthold was killed soon afterwards and his
The Church mobilised to avenge.
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III issued a bull
declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Bishop Albert was
proclaimed Bishop of Livonia by his uncle Hartwig of Uthlede,
Hamburg in 1199. Albert landed in Riga
in 1200 with 23 ships and 500 Westphalian crusaders.
In 1201, he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from
Ikšķile to Riga, extorting agreement to do so from the elders of
Riga by force.
Under Bishop Albert
The year 1201 also marked the first arrival of German merchants in
Novgorod, via the Dvina. To defend territory and trade, Albert
established the Order of
Livonian Brothers of the Sword
Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1202, open
to nobles and merchants.
Christianization of the Livs continued. In 1207, Albert started on
fortification of the town. Emperor Philip invested Albert with
Livonia as a fief and principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
To promote a permanent military presence, territorial ownership was
divided between the Church and the Order, with the Church taking Riga
and two-thirds of all lands conquered and granting the Order a
third. Until then, it had been customary for crusaders to serve
for a year and then return home.
Albert had ensured Riga's commercial future by obtaining papal bulls
which decreed that all German merchants had to carry on their Baltic
trade through Riga. In 1211,
Riga minted its first coinage,
and Albert laid the cornerstone for the
Riga was not yet
secure as an alliance of tribes failed to take Riga. In 1212,
Albert led a campaign to compel
Polotsk to grant German merchants free
Polotsk conceded Kukenois (Koknese) and Jersika to
Albert, also ending the Livs' tribute to Polotsk.
Riga's merchant citizenry chafed and sought greater autonomy from the
Church. In 1221, they acquired the right to independently
self-administer Riga and adopted a city constitution.
That same year Albert was compelled to recognise Danish rule over
lands they had conquered in
Estonia and Livonia. Albert had sought
the aid of King Valdemar of
Denmark to protect
Riga and Livonian lands
against Liv insurrection when reinforcements could not reach Riga. The
Danes landed in Livonia, built a fortress at Reval (Tallinn) and set
about conquering Estonian and Livonian lands. The Germans attempted,
but failed, to assassinate Valdemar. Albert was able to reach an
accommodation with them a year later, however and, in 1222, Valdemar
returned all Livonian lands and possessions to Albert's control.
Albert's difficulties with Riga's citizenry continued; with papal
intervention, a settlement was reached in 1225 whereby they no longer
had to pay tax to the Bishop of Riga, and Riga's citizens acquired
the right to elect their magistrates and town councillors. In
1226, Albert consecrated the Dom Cathedral, built St. James's
Church, (now a cathedral) and founded a parochial school at the
Church of St. George.
In 1227, Albert conquered Oesel and the city of
Riga concluded a
treaty with the
Principality of Smolensk
Principality of Smolensk giving
Polotsk to Riga.
Albert died in January 1229. He failed in his aspiration to be
anointed archbishop but the German hegemony he established over
the Baltic would last for seven centuries.
Riga in the 16th century
Riga became a member of the Hanseatic League. The Hansa was
instrumental in giving
Riga economic and political stability, thus
providing the city with a strong foundation which endured the
political conflagrations that were to come, down to modern times.
Riga in 1650. Drawing by Johann Christoph Brotze
Holy Roman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish and
As the influence of the
Hanseatic League waned,
Riga became the object
of foreign military, political, religious and economic aspirations.
Riga accepted the Reformation in 1522, ending the power of the
archbishops. In 1524, iconoclasts targeted a statue of the Virgin Mary
in the Cathedral to make a statement against religious icons. It was
accused of being a witch, and given a trial by water in the Daugava
River. The statue floated, so it was denounced as a witch and burnt at
Kubsberg. With the demise of the
Livonian Order during the
Riga for twenty years had the status of a Free Imperial
City of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire before it came under the influence of
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Treaty of Drohiczyn, which
ended the war for
Riga in 1581. In 1621, during the Polish–Swedish
Riga and the outlying fortress of Daugavgriva came
under the rule of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, who intervened in
Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War not only for political and economic gain but
also in favour of German Lutheran Protestantism. During the
Russo-Swedish War (1656–1658),
Riga withstood a siege by Russian
Riga remained the largest city in
Sweden until 1710,
a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous
self-government. In that year, in the course of the Great Northern
Tsar Peter the Great besieged plague-stricken Riga.
Along with the other Livonian towns and gentry,
Riga capitulated to
Russia, but largely retained their privileges.
Riga was made the
capital of the Governorate of
Riga (later: Livonia). Sweden's northern
dominance had ended, and Russia's emergence as the strongest Northern
power was formalised through the
Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad in 1721.
an industrialised port city of the Russian empire, in which it
remained until World War I. By 1900,
Riga was the third largest city
Saint Petersburg in terms of the number of
industrial workers and number of theatres.
German troops entering
Riga during World War I.
During these many centuries of war and changes of power in the Baltic,
and despite demographic changes, the
Baltic Germans in
maintained a dominant position. By 1867, Riga's population was 42.9%
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
Tsar Alexander III. More and more Latvians started moving to the
city during the mid-19th century. The rise of a Latvian bourgeoisie
Riga a centre of the
Latvian National Awakening
Latvian National Awakening with the founding
Riga Latvian Association in 1868 and the organisation of the
first national song festival in 1873. The nationalist movement of the
Neo-Latvians was followed by the socialist
New Current during the
city's rapid industrialisation, culminating in the 1905 Revolution led
by the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party.
World War I
The 20th century brought
World War I
World War I and the impact of the Russian
Revolution of 1917 to Riga. In consequence of the battle of Jugla, the
German army marched into
Riga on 3 September 1917. On 3 March
1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, giving the Baltic
countries to Germany. Because of the Armistice with
Germany of 11
Germany had to renounce that treaty, as did Russia,
Latvia and the other
Baltic States in a position to claim
independence. Latvia, with
Riga as its capital city, thus declared its
independence on 18 November 1918. Between
World War I
World War I and World War II
Latvia shifted their focus from
Russia to the
countries of Western Europe. The
United Kingdom and
Russia as Latvia's major trade partners. The majority of the Baltic
Germans were resettled in late 1939, prior to the occupation of
Latvia by the
Soviet Union in June 1940.
World War II
During World War II,
Latvia was occupied by the
Soviet Union in June
1940 and then was occupied by
Nazi Germany in 1941–1944. On June 17,
1940, the Soviet forces invaded
Latvia occupying bridges,
post/telephone, telegraph, and broadcasting offices. Three days later,
Karlis Ulmanis was forced to approve a pro-Soviet
government which had taken office. On July 14–15, rigged elections
were held in
Latvia and the other Baltic states, The ballots held
following instructions: "Only the list of the Latvian Working People's
Bloc must be deposited in the ballot box. The ballot must be deposited
without any changes." The alleged voter activity index was 97.6%. Most
notably, the complete election results were published in
hours before the election closed. Soviet electoral documents found
later substantiated that the results were completely fabricated.
Tribunals were set up to punish "traitors to the people" - those who
had fallen short of the "political duty" of voting
Latvia into the
USSR and those who failed to have their passports stamped for so
voting were allowed to be shot in the back of the head. The Soviet
authorities, having regained control over
Latvia imposed a
regime of terror, opening the headquarters of the KGB, massive
deportations started. Hundreds of men were arrested, including leaders
of the former Latvian government. The most notorious deportation, the
June deportation took place on June 13 and June 14, 1941, estimated at
15,600 men, women, and children, and including 20% of Latvia's last
legal government. Similar deportations were repeated after the end of
WWII. The building of the
KGB located in
Brīvības iela 61, known as
'the corner house', is now a museum. Stalin's deportations also
included thousands of Latvian Jews. (The mass deportation totalled
131,500 across the Baltics.) Similar atrocities were made after the
Nazi occupation of
Latvia when the city's Jewish community was forced
Riga Ghetto and a
Nazi concentration camp
Nazi concentration camp was constructed in
Kaiserwald. On 25 October 1941, the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga
and the vicinity to the ghetto. Most of Latvia's Jews (about 24,000)
were killed on 30 November and 8 December 1941 in the Rumbula
massacre. By the end of the war, the remaining
Baltic Germans were
expelled to Germany.
The Soviet Red Army re-entered
Riga on 13 October 1944. In the
following years the massive influx of labourers, administrators,
military personnel, and their dependents from
Russia and other Soviet
republics started. Microdistricts of the large multi-storied housing
blocks were built to house immigrant workers.
By the end of the war, Rīga's historical centre was heavily damaged
because of constant bombing. After the war, huge efforts were made to
reconstruct and renovate most of the famous buildings that were part
of the skyline of the city before the war. Such buildings were,
amongst others: St. Peter's Church which lost its wooden tower after a
fire caused by the
Wehrmacht (renovated in 1954). Other example is The
House of the Blackheads, completely destroyed, its ruins were
subsequently demolished. A facsimile was subsequently constructed in
In 1989, the percentage of Latvians in
Riga had fallen to 36.5%.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December
In 2004, the arrival of low-cost airlines resulted in cheaper flights
from other European cities such as
Berlin and consequently
a substantial increase in numbers of tourists.
In November 2013, the roof of a supermarket collapsed, possibly as a
result of the weight of materials used in the construction of a garden
on the roof. At least 54 people were killed. The Latvian President
Andris Berzins described the disaster as "a large scale murder of many
Riga was the
European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture in 2014. During the
Latvia's Presidency of the Council of the
European Union in 2015 the
Eastern Partnership Summit took place in Riga.
Daugava flows through Riga
Neighbourhoods in Riga
Neighbourhoods in Riga and List of tourist attractions in
Main article: Administrative divisions of Riga
Central District (3 km2 or 1.2 sq mi)
Kurzeme District (79 km2 or 31 sq mi)
Zemgale Suburb (41 km2 or 16 sq mi)
Northern District (77 km2 or 30 sq mi)
Vidzeme Suburb (57 km2 or 22 sq mi)
Latgale Suburb (50 km2 or 19 sq mi)
Riga's administrative divisions consist of six administrative
entities: Central, Kurzeme and Northern Districts and the Latgale,
Vidzeme and Zemgale Suburbs. Three entities were established on 1
September 1941, and the other three were established in October
1969. There are no official lower level administrative units, but
Riga City Council
Riga City Council Development Agency is working on a plan, which
Riga consist of 58 neighbourhoods. The current
names were confirmed on 28 December 1990.
Riga from St. Peter's Church
The climate of
Riga is humid continental (Köppen Dfb). The coldest
months are January and February, when the average temperature is
−5 °C (23 °F) but temperatures as low as −20 to
−25 °C (−4 to −13 °F) can be observed almost every
year on the coldest days. The proximity of the sea causes frequent
autumn rains and fogs. Continuous snow cover may last eighty days. The
Riga are cool and rainy with the average temperature of
18 °C (64 °F), while the temperature on the hottest days
can exceed 30 °C (86 °F).
Climate data for Riga
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency (avg
high and low)
Source #2: NOAA (sun and extremes)
Nils Ušakovs, the first ethnic Russian mayor of
Riga in independent
The head of the city government in
Riga is the mayor. Incumbent mayor
Nils Ušakovs, who is a member of the Harmony party, took office on 1
The city council is a democratically elected institution and is the
final decision-making authority in the city. The Council consists of
60 members who are elected every four years. The Presidium of the Riga
City Council consists of the Chairman of the
Riga City Council
Riga City Council and the
representatives delegated by the political parties or party blocks
elected to the
With 639,630 inhabitants in 2016 as according to the Central
statistical administration of Latvia,
Riga is the largest city in
the Baltic States, though its population has decreased from just over
900,000 in 1991. Notable causes include emigration and low birth
rates. According to the 2017 data, ethnic Latvians made up 44.03% of
the population of Riga, while ethnic
Russians formed 37.88%,
Poles 1.83% and other ethnicities
9.10%. By comparison, 60.1% of Latvia's total population was
ethnically Latvian, 26.2% Russian, 3.3% Belarusian, 2.4% Ukrainian,
2.1% Polish, 1.2% are Lithuanian and the rest of other origins.
Upon the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, Soviet era
immigrants (and any of their offspring born before 1991) were not
automatically granted Latvian citizenship because they had migrated to
the territory of
Latvia during the years when
Latvia was part of the
Soviet Union. In 2013 citizens of
Latvia made up 73.1%, non-citizens
21.9% and citizens of other countries 4.9% of the population of
Riga. The proportion of ethnic Latvians in
Riga increased from
36.5% in 1989 to 42.4% in 2010. In contrast, the percentage of
Russians fell from 47.3% to 40.7% in the same time period. Latvians
Russians as the largest ethnic group in 2006. Further
projections show that the ethnic Russian population will continue a
steady decline, despite higher birth rates, due to
Historic population figures
population in thousands.
Riga is one of the key economic and financial centres of the Baltic
States. Roughly half of all the jobs in
Latvia are in
Riga and the
city generates more than 50% of Latvia's GDP as well as around half of
Latvia's exports. The biggest exporters are in wood products, IT, food
and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, transport and
Riga Port is one of the largest in the Baltics. It
handled a record 34 million tons of cargo in 2011 and has
potential for future growth with new port developments on Krievu
Sala. Tourism is also a large industry in
Riga and after a
slowdown during the recent global economic recessions, grew 22% in
Bank of Latvia
Riga Stock Exchange early 20th century. Now The Art Museum
The Latvian National Opera
Latvian National Opera
Latvian National Opera was founded in 1918. The repertoire of the
theatre embraces all opera masterpieces. The
Latvian National Opera
Latvian National Opera is
famous not only for its operas, but for its ballet troupe as well.
Latvian National Theatre
Latvian National Theatre was founded in 1919. The Latvian National
Theatre preserves the traditions of Latvian drama school. It is one of
the biggest theatres in Latvia.
Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre
Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre is the oldest professional
drama theatre in Latvia, established in 1883. The repertoire of the
theatre includes classical plays and experimental performances of
Russian and other foreign playwrights.
Daile Theatre was opened for the first time in 1920. It is one of
the most successful theatres in Latvia. This theatre is distinguished
by its frequent productions of modern foreign plays.
Latvian State Puppet Theatre was founded in 1944. This theatre
presents shows for children and adults.
New Riga Theatre
New Riga Theatre was opened in 1992. It has an intelligent and
attractive repertoire of high quality that focused on a modern,
educated and socially active audience.
World Choir Games
Riga hosted the biannual 2014
World Choir Games
World Choir Games from 9–19 July 2014
which coincided with the city being named European Capital of Culture
for 2014. The event, organised by the choral foundation,
Interkultur, takes place at various host cities every two years and
was originally known as the "Choir Olympics". The event regularly
sees over 15'000 choristers in over 300 choirs from over 60 nations
compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in over 20 categories. The
competition is further divided into a Champions Competition and an
Open Competition to allow choirs from all backgrounds to enter.
Choral workshops and festivals are also witnessed in the host cities
and are usually open to the public.
The radio and TV tower of
Riga is the tallest structure in
the Baltic States, and one of the tallest in the European Union,
reaching 368.5 m (1,209 ft).
Riga centre also has many great
Art Nouveau architecture, as well as a medieval old town.
Art Nouveau building on
Alberta iela designed by Mikhail Eisenstein
Art Nouveau architecture in Riga
It is generally recognized that
Riga has largest collection of Art
Nouveau buildings in the world. This is due to the fact that at the
end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when Art Nouveau
was at the height of its popularity,
Riga experienced an unprecedented
financial and demographic boom. In the period from 1857 to 1914
its population grew from 282,000 (256,200 in
Riga itself and another
26,200 inhabitants beyond the city limits in patrimonial district and
military town of Ust-Dvinsk) to 558,000 making it the 4th largest city
Russian Empire (after Saint-Petersburg,
Moscow and Warsaw) and
its largest port. The middle class of
Riga used their acquired
wealth to build imposing apartment blocks outside the former city
walls. Local architects, mostly graduates of
University, adopted current European movements and in particular Art
Nouveau. Between 1910 and 1913, between 300 and 500 new buildings
were built each year in Riga, most of them in
Art Nouveau style and
most of them outside the old town.
Riga has a rich basketball history. In the 1950s
ASK Riga became the
best club in the
Soviet Union and also in Europe, winning the first
three editions of the European Cup for Men's Champions Clubs from 1958
In 1960, ASK was not the only team from
Riga to take the European
TTT Riga clinched their first title in the European Cup for
Women's Champion Clubs, turning
Riga into the capital city of European
basketball because for the first and, so far, only time in the history
of European basketball, clubs from the same city were concurrent
European Men's and Women's club champions.
Riga was one of the hosts for EuroBasket 2015.
BK VEF Rīga
BK VEF Rīga – a professional basketball team that is a three-time
Latvian champion. VEF also participates in high-level international
competition such as Eurocup
Barons LMT – a men's basketball team, two-time Latvian champion, as
well as the 2008
FIBA EuroCup winner
TTT Riga – a women's basketball team, which between 1960 and 1982
won eighteen FIBA
EuroLeague Women titles
Dinamo Riga – a professional ice hockey club established in 2008. It
plays in the Kontinental Hockey League. Dinamo was established as a
successor to the former hockey team with the same name, which was
founded in 1946 but ceased to exist in 1995.
HK Riga – a junior hockey club, playing in the Minor Hockey League
Skonto FC – a football club established in 1991. The club won
Latvian Higher League
Latvian Higher League titles. For a long time it
provided the core of the Latvian national football team
Arena Riga – a multi-purpose arena built in 2006 as the main venue
for the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. It can hold up to
14,500 people and has hosted ice hockey, basketball and volleyball
events, as well as Red Bull X-Fighters
Skonto Stadium – a football stadium, built in 2000. It is the main
stadium used for games of the Latvian national football team
Daugava Stadium – a stadium built in 1958, used for both football
Latvijas Universitates Stadions
Biķernieku Kompleksā Sporta Bāze – Latvia's leading motorsport
1999 European Athletics Junior Championships
EuroBasket Women 2009
2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
2013 World Women's Curling Championship
Latvia play Masstor Cricket Club
2016 Men's World Floorball Championships
One of the several
Trolleybus types in Riga
Riga, with its central geographic position and concentration of
population, has always been the infrastructural hub of Latvia. Several
national roads begin in Riga, and
European route E22
European route E22 crosses
the east and west, while the Via Baltica crosses
Riga from the south
As a city situated by a river,
Riga also has several bridges. The
oldest standing bridge is the Railway Bridge, which is also the only
railroad-carrying bridge in Riga. The Stone Bridge (Akmens tilts)
Riga and Pārdaugava; the Island Bridge (Salu tilts)
Maskavas Forštate and
Pārdaugava via Zaķusala; and the
Shroud Bridge (Vanšu tilts) connects Old
Ķīpsala. In 2008, the first stage of the new Southern Bridge
(Dienvidu tilts) route across the
Daugava was completed, and was
opened to traffic on 17 November.
Southern Bridge was the biggest construction project in the Baltic
states in 20 years, and its purpose was to reduce traffic congestion
in the city centre. Another major construction project is the
Riga Northern Transport Corridor; its first segment
detailed project was completed in 2015.
Freeport of Riga
Freeport of Riga facilitates cargo and passenger traffic by sea.
Sea ferries currently connect
Riga Passenger Terminal
Riga Passenger Terminal to Stockholm
operated by Tallink.
Škoda 15 T
Škoda 15 T tram in Riga
Riga has one active airport that serves commercial airlines—the Riga
International Airport (RIX), built in 1973. Renovation and
modernization of the airport was completed in 2001, coinciding with
the 800th anniversary of the city. In 2006, a new terminal extension
was opened. Extension of the runway was completed in October 2008, and
the airport is now able to accommodate large aircraft such as the
Airbus A340, Boeing 747, 757, 767 and 777. Another terminal extension
is under construction as of 2014[update]. The annual number of
passengers has grown from 310,000 in 1993 to 4.7 million in 2014,
Riga International Airport
Riga International Airport the largest in the Baltic States.
The former international airport of Riga, Spilve Airport, located
5 km (3.11 mi) from
Riga city centre, is currently used for
small aircraft, pilot training and recreational aviation.
also home to a military air base during the
Cold War — Rumbula Air
Public transportation in the city is provided by
Rīgas Satiksme which
operates a large number of trams, buses and trolleybuses on an
extensive network of routes across the city. In addition, up until
2012 many private owners operated minibus services, after which the
City Council established the unified transport company Rīgas
mikroautobusu satiksme, establishing a monopoly over the service.
Riga is connected to the rest of
Latvia by trains operated by the
national carrier Passenger Train, whose headquarters are in Riga.
There are also international rail services to
Russia and Belarus, and
plans to revive passenger rail traffic with Estonia. A TEN-T project
Rail Baltica envisages building a high-speed railway line via
Warsaw using standard gauge, expected
to be put into operation in 2024.
Riga International Coach Terminal provides domestic and international
connections by coach.
Art Academy of
Riga Technical University
Riga Technical University (RTU)
Riga Stradiņš University
Riga Stradiņš University (RSU)
Riga Graduate School of Law
Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL)
Stockholm School of Economics in
Riga (SSE Riga)
BA School of Business and Finance
BA School of Business and Finance (BA)
Transport and Telecommunication Institute
Transport and Telecommunication Institute (TTI)
Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration
Rutanya Alda, a Latvian-American actress
Helmuts Balderis, a Latvian ice hockey player
Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian dancer, choreographer, and actor
Ernst von Bergmann, a Baltic German surgeon, pioneer of aseptic
Sir Isaiah Berlin, a British social and political theorist,
philosopher and historian of ideas
Léopold Bernhard Bernstamm, a Russian sculptor
Andris Biedriņš, a Latvian professional basketball player
Gunnar Birkerts, a Latvian-American architect
Leonīds Breikšs, a Latvian poet, author, and newspaper editor
Tanhum Cohen-Mintz, an Israeli basketball player
Jacob W. Davis,(born Jacob Youphes), inventor of jeans (pants)
Valdis Dombrovskis, a Latvian politician, Commissioner for Economic
and Monetary Affairs and the Euro of the European Commission
Kaspars Dubra, a Latvian footballer
Mikhail Eisenstein, Latvian architect
Sergei Eisenstein, a Soviet Russian film director and film theorist
Heinz Erhardt, a Baltic German comedian, musician and entertainer
Jakob Benjamin Fischer, a Baltic German naturalist and apothecary
Artur Fonvizin, a Soviet painter of watercolours
Laila Freivalds, former Swedish Minister for Justice, Minister for
Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister
Elīna Garanča, a Latvian operatic mezzo-soprano
Zemgus Girgensons, an ice hockey player for the Buffalo Sabres, the
highest-ever drafted Latvian in the NHL Entry Draft
Philippe Halsman, an American portrait photographer
Johann Georg Hamann, German philosopher, teacher of J. G. Herder, the
ideologue of Sturm und Drang movement
Juris Hartmanis, a prominent Latvian-American computer scientist and
computational theorist, a recipient of the Turing Award
Nicolai Hartmann, a Baltic German philosopher, one of the most
important twentieth century metaphysicians
Johann Gottfried Herder, a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and
Lola Hoffmann, a physiologist, psychiatrist and guide to
self-development and transformation
Miervaldis Jursevskis, a Latvian-Canadian chess master
Charles Kalme, an American International Master of chess and
Karlis Kaufmanis, astronomer
Mstislav Keldysh, a Soviet mathematician, an advocate of the creation
of the first artificial satellite
Gidon Kremer, a Latvian violinist and conductor
Ivan Krylov, a Russian fabulist
Yeshayahu Leibowitz, an Israeli public intellectual and polymath
DJ Lethal, an American music producer
Ernst Munzinger, German
Abwehr (Army intelligence) officer, later
Jeļena Ostapenko women's professional tennis player "2017 French open
Wilhelm Ostwald, a Baltic German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate in 1909
Sandis Ozoliņš, a Latvian ice hockey player, a seven-time NHL
Stanley Cup champion
Marians Pahars, a Latvian footballer
Raimonds Pauls, a Latvian composer and piano player
Kristjan Jaak Peterson, an Estonian poet
Valentin Pikul, a Soviet historical novelist
Alfred Rosenberg, a Baltic German theorist and an influential
ideologue of the Nazi Party
Johann Steinhauer, an entrepreneur, industrialist and Latvian civil
rights pioneer in the 18th century
Mikhail Tal, Soviet-Latvian chess grandmaster and the eighth World
Chess Champion, nicknamed "The Wizard of Riga"
Juris Upatnieks, a Latvian-American physicist and inventor in the
field of holography
Valdis Valters, a Latvian basketball player
Richard Wagner, a German composer, theatre director, polemicist
Tatiana Warsher, a Russian archaeologist known for her studies of
Friedrich Zander, a Baltic German engineer, designer of the first
Soviet liquid-fuelled rocket
Walter Zapp, a Baltic German inventor
Yosef Mendelevich, a Jewish refusenik from the former Soviet Union,
also known as a "Prisoner of Zion" and now a politically unaffiliated
rabbi living in Jerusalem who gained fame for his adherence to Judaism
and public attempts to emigrate to Israel at a time when it was
considered to be against the law in the USSR.
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Latvia
Riga maintains sister city relationships with the following
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Bremen, Free Hanseatic
City of Bremen, Germany
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Calais, Nord, France
Dallas, Texas, United States
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow, Russia
Prague, Czech Republic
Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Saint Petersburg, Russia:
Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
Archbishops of Riga
Riga Charter, on cultural heritage conservation, adopted here in 2000
Riga Salsa Festival
Siege of Riga
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^ "Changes in the Administrative Division of the Territory of Riga
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^ "World Weather Information Service – Riga". World Meteorological
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^ "Population Census 2011 – Key Indicators" (PDF). csb.gov.lv.
^ The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (Latvian) Retrieved
19 April 2013
^ "/ Uzņēmējdarbība / Nosaukti desmit lielākie eksportējošie
uzņēmumi Rīgā un Rīgas reģionā". Bizness.lv. Retrieved 12 March
^ Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 11.01.2012.Print version (17 October 2012).
Riga Freeport handles record-breaking 34.07 mln tons of cargo in
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^ "Tūristu skaits Latvijā pērn pieaudzis par 21%, Rīgā – par
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^ "Latvian National Opera". Opera.lv. Archived from the original on 26
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^ "Home » Latvijas Nacionālais teātris". teatris.lv. Retrieved
^ Nordik IT <http://it.nordik.lv>. "The
Daile Theatre –
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^ a b "Event Calendar of the 8th
World Choir Games
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Latvia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2013.
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^ "History – World Choir Games". interkultur.com. Archived from the
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^ IFF. "IFF". floorball.org.
^ "Explanatory Note on Planning and Building of the Southern Bridge
Route". rdpad.lv. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
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^ "Dienvidu Tilts; Project of the Bridge". dienvidutilts.lv. Archived
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Riga
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Riga.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Riga.
Latvia at JewishGen
Articles related to Riga
House of the Blackheads
House of the Livonian Noble Corporation
Radisson Blu Daugava
Monuments & memorials
Victory Memorial to Soviet Army
Parks & gardens
Museums & galleries
Museum of the
History of Riga
History of Riga and Navigation
National Museum of Art
Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum
Museum of Foreign Art
Museum of National History
Latvian National Opera
Latvian National Theatre
Riga Russian Theatre
Places of worship
St. Peter's Church
St. James's Cathedral
Radio and TV Tower
National Library of Latvia
Latvian Academy of Sciences
Mežaparks Great Bandstand
Palace of Justice
Neighbourhoods of Riga
Cities and municipalities in
Riga Planning Region
First-level administrative divisions of Latvia
Capitals of European states and territories
Capitals of dependent territories and states whose sovereignty is
disputed shown in italics.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Douglas, Isle of Man (UK)
London, United Kingdom
Saint Helier, Jersey (UK)
Saint Peter Port, Guernsey (UK)
Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway)
Mariehamn, Åland Islands (Finland)
Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)
Olonkinbyen, Jan Mayen (Norway)
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (Denmark)
Prague, Czech Republic
Gibraltar, Gibraltar (UK)
North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus4, 5
San Marino, San Marino
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vatican City, Vatican City
Stepanakert, Artsakh4, 5
Sukhumi, Abkhazia3, 5
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia3, 5
1 Also the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
2 Also the seat of the European Union, see Institutional seats of
European Union and
Brussels and the European Union
3 Transcontinental country
4 Entirely in Southwest Asia but having socio-political
connections with Europe
5 Partially recognised country
Capital cities of the member states of the European Union
Members of the
Hanseatic League by Quarter
Chief cities shown in smallcaps.
Free Imperial Cities of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire shown in italics.
Frankfurt an der Oder
Dortmund were both capital of the Westphalian Quarter at
Antwerp gained importance once
Bruges became inaccessible due to the
silting of the
World Heritage Sites in Latvia
Historic Centre of Riga
Struve Geodetic Arc
Struve Geodetic Arc (with nine other countries)
Eurovision Song Contest
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia and Montenegro
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Eurosong - A MAD Show
The Late Late Show
You're a Star
Serbia and Montenegro
Marcel Bezençon Awards
OGAE Video Contest
OGAE Second Chance Contest
Barbara Dex Award
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest Previews
Songs of Europe
Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
Congratulations: 50 Years of the
Eurovision Song Contest
Best of Eurovision
Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits
European Capitals of Culture
Santiago de Compostela
City and Greater Region