Riga – small Paris.
Riga, capital of Latvia, is situated on the banks of the River Daugava, was founded in 1201 by knights of the Livonian Order. Riga – the largest industrial and cultural center of the country with a rich history and culture, this architectural monument under the open sky, the center of folk music and the venue for the hundreds of fairs and festivals. Riga rightfully belongs to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, the old part of the city preserved in an absolutely unchanged and is listed on the UNESCO list as one of the legacies of World Culture. In the Middle Ages, at the junction of land and waterways, it developed as a center of trade and crafts.
What to see, where to go and where to rest, having arrived to Latvia? One of the most interesting and attractive places for tourists – is Riga.
Major attractions are concentrated in Riga city center – Old Town, where the streets are still lined with cobblestones and felt where medieval character of the city. Riga remained outstanding architectural monuments of different eras. The main attraction of Riga’s Old Town district is considered (“Old Riga”) with dozens of old buildings.
Latvians talk about their cities as women, and Riga – is undeniable lady! At that moment, when you walk on its streets, you’ll see why in the 30s it was called “the little Paris of the North.” The magnificent architecture, from medieval to modern. Old City vies with Prague, the opera house and concert halls, an active artistic life, fine shops and restaurants, everything indicates that Riga again belongs to the major capitals of Europe.
Noisy, boiling life in the capital and at the same time serene, unhurried; breathable eight centuries of history and eternally young; shining shop windows of luxury boutiques and charming unassuming beauty of the quiet streets of its margins; shake the night music of numerous nightclubs and delight hearing a passerby thin game of street musicians. And all this is so harmoniously and naturally combined in this tiny piece of Europe, that is simply impossible not to admire. It is not surprising that visited here once again and returns, thus, believe, at Riga each time for guests to prepare wonderful surprises. Time after time, it appears in a completely new, hitherto unknown perspective and seemed effortlessly opens all new secrets.
Special mention requires the nightlife of the Old Town, because here are the best clubs of the capital, a casino and an array of stylish bars offering a range of different cocktails that the head is spinning. Life in Riga abounds. Clubs, concerts, casinos, different views draw you into the world capital of entertainment.
The Chronicles report that Riga as a city was founded in 1201 by Bishop Albert. This was not the first Christian missionary, who, like his predecessors, a convenient patch of land surrounded by water on three sides. But the Bishop Albert with the Crusaders managed to overcome the resistance of local residents, fishermen and artisans, and in place of the pagan Livonians settlements found the city, named Riga.
History of Riga for eight centuries was full of wars and events. The dynamic development of open-minded and progressive change from dark years of war, isolation and ruin. Period, when Riga was a member of the Hanseatic League, it was a time of prosperity. Due to the strategically advantageous position near the Daugava River and the Baltic Sea, at the crossroads of land roads connecting East and West, Riga is ideally suited for trade.
In 1282, Riga has signed a contract with Hansa-trade and political Union of the Baltic and North seas, the bridge between markets, guarantee the transport of goods, which, at that time, rapidly developed. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Hanseatic League was strong economic lever by which Riga grew as a trading city, providing its residents with many freedoms and privileges. The good fame of the Hanseatic times shows widespread use of the name Hansa in the names of economic and information structures established in the 90-s of the 20th century in Latvia and Estonia.
In Riga since ancient times lived the representatives of different nationalities, an international composition of the population influenced his way of life and culture. Livs, Letts, Jews, Russians, Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians, Armenians created the face of Riga, and from the 13th century the city has had a great influence on the German urban culture which still today reflect the stone buildings in the old town.
In the year 1582 Riga took possession of Poles, and Riga’s citizens have had for decades to subdue their pride with the power of a foreign King. In 1621, Riga was the Swedish King Gustav Adolf, she became the most distant to the city of Sweden. The townspeople were already forgotten freedom and law, the standard of living once again began to grow, so in memory of popular Swedish times remain as favourable. At least compared to the harsh Russian at times under which Riga for almost two centuries had to endure and the Northern War, and let in an own goal the army of Napoleon.
In 1858, there was a fracture, were sryty, and the Riga ramparts from the closed city-fortress was transformed into a modern city. In 1861, the first train began operating the gas works. In 1869, the shipyard were laid for the construction of sea-going and river steamers, and the medieval city opened itself and around the world. Industrialization was gathering more and more rapid. In 1889, with the completion of the Town Hall ended the era in which laws, law and order in the German part of the population determined the Riga, which at the time accounted for 40% of all residents. Then began an intensive Russification, defined by the planned introduction of the Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire. However, from an economic point of view, the beginning of the 20th century was a time of prosperity, Riga, so the 700-year anniversary of the city in 1901, was a large industrial exhibition, which was of great importance for the further development of Riga.
Built in the late 19th and early 20th century Art Nouveau building, Boulevard circle constituted more than one-third of the city. No other city has so richly not modernist, in such amount and diversity of forms, as in Riga.
In 1914, when World War II started, interrupted the rapid expansion of Riga. At the beginning of the war there were half a million inhabitants, and it was the second largest port city of the Russian Empire with a well developed industry. When Riga became the front line in Russia evacuated hundreds of factories with all the equipment for its machines had gone almost half of Riga’s workers with families. In 1918, weakened by the war Riga became the capital of the new State of Latvia. Work started on the restoration, in which Latvians, Germans, Russians, Jews, poles and all the rest were guaranteed and the rights and freedom of communication in their language, the ability to publish newspapers, open schools, etc.
In 30-ies of XX century Riga was one of the cleanest and most elegant cities of Europe, which was known as the northern or small Paris. Everything is destroyed by war and revolution was restored. New higher education institutions, banks, the national currency. All this is reflected on the face of the city, which emerged and the new European architectural trends.
After signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact from Riga to the III Reich left four-fifths of 38 thousand Germans in Riga. This was followed by the Soviet occupation and the second world war. 40-ies were full for Riga dramatic changes. After the second world war, it was 50 years to become the capital of the Socialist Republic.
During the restoration of the sovereignty of Latvia Riga became the center of the Awakening (awakening). In January 1991, the Latvian residents gathered at the Riga barricades to resist possible invasion of military forces of the USSR.
Today, the newly restored Riga and free upgrade. Over the past 15 years here there were foreign embassies, representative offices of firms, came to live and work, the Scandinavians, Germans, French and Chinese. As a profitable market in Riga is experiencing rapid development, and in it, like a hundred years ago, more than just spirit of mercantilism. It is necessary to clear his name and influence in the modern world, and again to celebrate a big anniversary.