Being the center of the three Baltic States and since the days of the Hanseatic League, Latvia has been the Baltic economic center.
Latvia was first mentioned in 1201 by Bishop Albert, who came to Latvia with the German crusaders and established the Livonian order. At this time, Latvia started its German period from the 12th to 16th century.
In the 16th century, post the Livonian War, Latvia was under Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish rule throughout the period of the 16th to 19th century.
The Russian Empire period started in the 18th century and continued until the beginning of World War 1
The first period of the independent Latvian Republic was from 1918 to 1940. Latvia was then again occupied and annexed by Russia in June 1940.
Latvia’s second time of independence was declared on August 21, 1991. The U.S.S.R. recognized its sovereignty on September 6th and United Nations membership followed shortly thereafter. Latvia was admitted to NATO and the European Union in 2004.
The country is full of small, picturesque medieval towns, country castles, museums and folk parks, disused fortresses, and the occasional grand palace.
Throughout Latvia, you will find intriguing evidence of Latvian customs, crafts, and culture and will enjoy the taste of delicious Latvian National food.
Places to see
Riga Old Town and Art Nouveau district
Gauja National Park with Turaida
The Gauja River - with a peaceful body of water - popular among canoeists
Jurmala - one of the most popular beach resorts in the Baltic
Rundale Palace – the summer residence of Duke of Courland (Latvia’s Versailles)
Reconstructed historical Manors- Birini, Mezotne and Kukshi.
Countryside small towns, Cesis and Kuldiga with the widest waterfall in Europe
Daugavpils City - where Mark Rotko was born
Liepaja - the pearl of the Curland region