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{{About|the Latvian capital}}{{short description|City in Latvia}}{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2012}}

name Riga
|native_name = RÄ«ga
|native_name_lang = lv
|settlement_type = City
|image_skyline = Riga montage.jpg
|imagesize = 280px
|image_alt =
|image_caption = From top, left to right: the Freedom Monument, the Riga City Council building, the House of the Blackheads, Livonian Square, and the Latvian National Opera
|image_flag = Flag of Riga.svg
|image_shield = Coat of Arms of Riga.svg
|map_alt =| mapsize = | pushpin_map_caption = Location within LatviaLocation within the BalticsLocation within Europe| pushpin_map = Latvia#Baltic states#Europe| pushpin_relief = 1

|government_footnotes = WEB,weblink Riga City Council, Riga City Council, 22 July 2009,
|government_type = City council
|leader_title = Mayor
|leader_name = Oļegs Burovs (acting)WEB,weblink Ušakovu oficiāli atstādina no Rīgas mēra amata, Guntars, Veidemanis, 5 April 2019,,
|area_magnitude = 1 E+6
|area_footnotes =  (2002)WEB,weblink Riga in Figures, 2 August 2007, Riga City Council,
|area_total_km2 = 324
|area_land_km2 = 275.5
|area_water_km2 = 48.60
|area_water_percent = 15.8
|area_metro_km2 = 7292.8
|population_as_of = 2018
|population_footnotes = WEB,weblink RESIDENT POPULATION BY STATISTICAL REGION, CITY AND COUNTY, Centrālā statistikas pārvalde, 7 Jan 2019,
|population_total = 615,369
|population_density_km2 = auto
|population_urban = 939,32weblink
|population_metro = 1,070,000
|population_metro_footnotes =weblink
|population_density_metro_km2 = 146.7
|population_blank1_title = Demonym
|population_blank1 = RÄ«dzinieki
|demographics_type1 = Ethnicity
|demographics1_footnotes =  (2019)RESIDENT POPULATION BY ETHNICITY AND BY STATISTICAL REGION AND CITY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, 06 June 2019
|demographics1_title1 = Latvians
|demographics1_info1 = 47.1%
|demographics1_title2 = Russians
|demographics1_info2 = 36.4%
|demographics1_title3 = Belarusians
|demographics1_info3 = 3.7%
|demographics1_title4 = Ukrainians
|demographics1_info4 = 3.4%
|demographics1_title5 = Poles
|demographics1_info5 = 1.8%
|demographics1_title6 = Lithuanians
|demographics1_info6 = 0.8%
|demographics1_title7 = Romanies
|demographics1_info7 = 0.1%
|timezone1 = EET
|utc_offset1 = +2
|timezone1_DST = EEST
|utc_offset1_DST = +3
|blank_name = GDP(nominal)
|blank_info = 2016WEB,weblink 2.1. Gross Domestic Product – Stratēģijas Uzraudzības Sistēma,, WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects,,
|blank1_name =  - Total
|blank1_info = €13.5 billion($27 billion, PPP)
|blank2_name =  - Per capita
|blank2_info = €21,000($42,500, PPP)
|blank3_name = HDI (2017)
|blank3_info = 0.878WEB,weblink Sub-national HDI - Subnational HDI - Global Data Lab,, – very high
|coordinates = {{coord|56|56|56|N|24|6|23|E|display=inline,title}}
|area_code_type = Calling codes
|area_code = 66 and 67
|website =

{{Maplink|frame=yes|plain=y|frame-width=325|frame-height=325|zoom=12|frame-lat=56.943|frame-long=24.107|type=shape-inverse|id=Q745303|title=Vidzeme}}Riga ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|ɹ|i:|g|ə}}; {{IPA-lv|ˈriːɡa||Lv-Rīga.ogg}}; ) is the capital of Latvia and is home to 632,614 inhabitants (2019), which is a third of Latvia's population. Being significantly larger than other cities of Latvia, Riga is the country's primate city. It is also the largest city in the three Baltic states and is home to one tenth of the three Baltic states' combined population.WEB,weblink Latvia in Brief, 2011, Latvian Institute, 5 November 2011, The city lies on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava river where it meets the Baltic Sea. Riga's territory covers {{convert|307.17|km2|abbr=on}} and lies {{convert|1|-|10|m||abbr=on}} above sea level,WEB,weblink Riga Municipality Portal, Copyright © 2003–2009, Riga Municipality, 27 July 2009, 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 architecture.WEB,weblink Historic Centre of Riga – UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 1997, UNESCO, 18 December 2012, Riga was the European Capital of Culture during 2014, along with Umeå in Sweden. Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the 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).In 2016, Riga received over 1.4 million visitors.WEB,weblink Tourism in Latvia 2017, Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia,, en, 2018-02-09,weblink" title="">weblink 9 February 2018, yes, dmy-all, The city is served by Riga International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in the Baltic states. Riga is a member of Eurocities,WEB,weblink EUROCITIES – the network of major European cities, Eurocities, 8 November 2011, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC)WEB,weblink Union of the Baltic Cities, Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), 8 November 2011, and Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU).WEB,weblink Union of Capitals of the European Union, Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU), 8 November 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2011, yes, dmy-all,


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.EndzelÄ«ns, Did Celts Inhabit the Baltics (1911 Dzimtene's VÄ“stnesis (Homeland Messenger) No. 227) {{webarchive|url= |date=9 December 2008 }} Retrieved 24 July 2009. 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 â€” notably, Riga is called Rie by English geographer Richard Hakluyt (1589),Pronouncing the "i" and "e" separately, REE-eh, is the best approximation to the Latvian rija, as "Ria" would result in an "i" not "ee" sound. and German historian Dionysius Fabricius (1610) confirms the origin of Riga from rija.Fabrius, D. Livonicae Historiae Compendiosa Series, 1610: Riga nomen sortita est suum ab aedificiis vel horreis quorum a litus Dunae magna fuit copia, quas livones sua lingua Rias vocare soliti. {{la icon}} Another theory could be that Riga was named after Riege, the German name for the River RÄ«dzene, a tributary of the Daugava.WEB,weblink Riga municipality portal,, 2016-02-10,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-02-23, Another theory is that Riga's name is introduced by the bishop Albert, initiator of christening and conquest of Livonian and Baltic people. He introduced also an explanation of city name as derived from Latin rigata ("irrigated") that symbolizes an "irrigation of dry pagan souls by Christianity".WEB,weblink Coat of arms of Riga,, 2018-06-26,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-07-11,


{{flagicon image|Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg}} Imperial Free City 1561–1582{{flagicon image|Chorągiew królewska króla Zygmunta III Wazy.svg}} Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1582–1629{{flagicon image|Flag of Sweden.svg}} Swedish Empire 1629–1721{{flagicon image|Flag of Russia.svg}} Russian Empire 1721–1917{{flag|German Empire}} 1917–1918{{flagicon|LVA}} Republic of Latvia 1918–1940{{flag|Soviet Union|1936}} 1940–1941{{flag|Nazi Germany}} 1941–1944{{flagicon|Soviet Union}}{{flagicon|Latvian SSR}} Soviet Union 1944–1991{{flagicon|LVA}} Republic of Latvia 1991–present}}


The river Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium.Bilmanis, A. Latvia as an Independent State. Latvian Legation. 1947. A sheltered natural harbour {{convert|15|km|mi|abbr=on}} upriver from the mouth of the Daugava â€” the site of today's Riga â€” has been recorded, as Duna Urbs, as early as the 2nd century. It was settled by the Livs, an ancient Finnic tribe.WEB,weblink Teritorija un administratÄ«vās robežas vÄ“sturiskā skatÄ«jumā, Latvian, 2 August 2007, Cities Environmental Reports on the Internet, File:Old Riga Buildings.JPG|thumb|The building of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is one of the most iconic buildings of Old Riga (VecrÄ«gaVecrÄ«gaRiga 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).The 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 the monk Meinhard of SegebergVauchez et al. Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Routledge, 2001 also arrived to convert the Livonian pagans to Christianity. Catholic and Orthodox 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 Uexküll (now known as IkÅ¡Ä·ile), upstream from Riga, and established his bishopric there. The Livs, however, continued to practice paganism and Meinhard died in Uexküll in 1196, having failed in his mission.Germanis, U. The Latvian Saga. 10th ed. 1998. Memento, Stockholm. In 1198, the Bishop Berthold arrived with a contingent of crusaders and commenced a campaign of forced Christianization. Berthold died soon afterwards and his forces defeated.The Church mobilised to avenge the issuance of a bull by Pope Innocent III declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Bishop Albert was proclaimed Bishop of Livonia by his uncle Hartwig of Uthlede, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg in 1199. Albert landed in Riga in 1200 with 23 shipsLaffort, R. (censor), Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Co., 1907 and 500 Westphalian crusaders.Tolstoy-Miloslavsky, D. The Tolstoys: Genealogy and Origin. A2Z, 1991 In 1201, he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from Uexküll to Riga, extorting agreement to do this 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.Dollinger, P. The Emergence of International Business 1200–1800, 1964; translated Macmillan and Co edition, 1970 To defend territoryReiner et al. Riga. Axel Menges, Stuttgart. 1999. and trade, Albert established the Order of Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1202, which was open to nobles and merchants.The Christianization of the Livs continued. In 1207, Albert started to fortify the town.Zarina, D. Old Riga: Tourist Guide, Spriditis, 1992 Emperor Philip invested Albert with Livonia as a fiefMoeller et al. History of the Christian Church. MacMillan & Co. 1893. 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.Palmieri, A. Catholic Origin of Latvia, ed. Cororan, J.A. et al. The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Volume XLVI, January–October 1921. Philadelphia. 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 Dom.Doma vēsture (history). Retrieved 29 July 2009. 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 river passage. Polotsk conceded Kukenois (Koknese) and Jersika to Albert, also ending the Livs' tribute to Polotsk.Kooper, E. The Medieval Chronicle V. Radopi, 2008.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.Wright, C.T.H. The Edinburgh Review, The Letts, 1917That same year Albert was compelled to recognise Danish rule over lands they had conquered in Estonia and Livonia.Murray, A., Crusade and Conversion on the Baltic Frontier, 1150–1500. Ashgate, London. 2001. 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."The Ecclesiastical Review", Vol. LVI. American Ecclesiastical Review. Dolphin Press. 1917. 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.Fonnesberg-Schmidt, I. The Popes and the Baltic Crusades, 1147–1254. Brill. 2006.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,Švābe, A., ed. Latvju Enciklopēdija. Trīs Zvaigznes, Stockholm. 1953–1955 (in Latvian) 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 OeselFletcher, R.A., The Conversion of Europe: From Paganism to Christianity, 371–1386AD. Harper Collins. 1991. and the city of Riga concluded a treaty with the Principality of Smolensk giving Polotsk to Riga.Michell, Thomas. Handbook for Travelers in Russia, Poland, and Finland. London, John Murray, 1888.Albert died in January 1229.Fonnesberg-Schmidt, I., The Popes and the Baltic Crusades, 1147–1254. Brill, 2007 He failed in his aspiration to be anointed archbishop but the German hegemony he established over the Baltic would last for seven centuries.(File:Panorama of Riga, 1572.jpg|thumb|upright=1.25|Riga in the 16th century)

Hanseatic League

In 1282, 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.File:Riga 1650.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|left|Riga in 1650. Drawing by Johann Christoph BrotzeJohann Christoph Brotze

Holy Roman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish and Russian Empires

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.BOOK, MacCulloch, Diarmaid, Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History,weblink 2003, Penguin, 150, 978-0-670-03296-9, 2016-02-10, With the demise of the Livonian Order during the Livonian War, Riga for twenty years had the status of a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire before it came under the influence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Treaty of Drohiczyn, which ended the war for Riga in 1581. In 1621, during the Polish–Swedish War (1621–1625), Riga and the outlying fortress of Daugavgriva came under the rule of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, who intervened in the 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 forces.Riga remained the largest city in Sweden until 1710,{{citation needed|date=February 2013}} a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous self-government. In that year, in the course of the Great Northern War, Russia under 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 Livonia|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 in 1721. Riga became an industrialised port city of the Russian empire, in which it remained until World War I. By 1900, Riga was the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and Saint Petersburg in terms of the number of industrial workers and number of theatres.{{citation needed|date=April 2008}}(File:German troops Riga 1917.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|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 Riga had maintained a dominant position. By 1867, Riga's population was 42.9% German.WEB,weblink National History Museum of Latvia,, 2016-02-10, 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. More and more Latvians started moving to the city during the mid-19th century. The rise of a Latvian bourgeoisie made Riga a centre of the Latvian National Awakening with the founding of the 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 and the impact of the Russian Revolution of 1917 to Riga. As a result of the battle of Jugla, the German army marched into Riga on 3 September 1917.WEB,weblink Russian Retreat 1917,, 16 September 2011, 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 November 1918, Germany had to renounce that treaty, as did Russia, leaving 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 and World War II (1918–1940), Riga and Latvia shifted their focus from Russia to the countries of Western Europe. The United Kingdom and Germany replaced Russia as Latvia's major trade partners. The majority of the Baltic Germans were resettled in late 1939, prior to the occupation of Estonia and Latvia by the Soviet Union in June 1940.

World War II

During World War II, Latvia was incorporated in 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, Latvian president 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 Moscow 12 hours before the election closed. Soviet electoral documents found later substantiated that the results were completely fabricated. The Soviet authorities, having regained control over Riga and 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.) During the Nazi occupation, the Jewish community was forced into the Riga Ghetto and a 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.Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, p. 348 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 1995.In 1989, the percentage of Latvians in Riga had fallen to 36.5%.WEB,weblink Population – Database,, 2016-02-10,weblink" title="">weblink 21 February 2012, yes, dmy-all,

21st century

{{expand section|date=December 2011}}In 2004, the arrival of low-cost airlines resulted in cheaper flights from other European cities such as London and Berlin and consequently a substantial increase in numbers of tourists.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Latvia prepares for a tourist invasion, Jonathan, Charles, 2 August 2007, 30 June 2005, 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 defenceless people".WEB,weblink Remaining Riga mall roof caves in, BBC News, Riga was the European Capital of Culture in 2014.WEB,weblink Riga, Latvia,, 2016-02-10, During the Latvia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015 the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit took place in Riga.WEB,weblink Eastern Partnership summit, Riga, 21-22/05/2015, European Council, 2016-02-10,


File:Riga, Latvia.jpg|alt=|thumb|The river DaugavaDaugava{{See also|Neighbourhoods in Riga|List of tourist attractions in Riga}}

Administrative divisions

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.WEB,weblink Evolvement of Administrative Division of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, 55, 77, Mikk Lõhmus, Illar Tõnisson, yes, Tallinn University of Technology, 29 June 2010, There are no official lower level administrative units, but the Riga City Council Development Agency is working on a plan, which officially makes Riga consist of 58 neighbourhoods.WEB,weblink Apkaimju projekts, Riga City Council Development Agency, Latvian, 29 June 2010, The current names were confirmed on 28 December 1990.WEB,weblink Changes in the Administrative Division of the Territory of Riga after the Loss of Independence (1940–1991), Riga City Environment Centre "Agenda 21", 29 June 2010, {{wide image|Riga Skyline Panorama, Latvia - Diliff.jpg|1200px|Panorama over 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 {{convert|-5|°C|0|abbr=on|lk=out}} but temperatures as low as {{convert|-20|to|-25|°C|0|abbr=on}} 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 summers in Riga are mild and rainy with the average temperature of {{convert|18|°C|0|abbr=on}}, while the temperature on the hottest days can exceed {{convert|30|°C|0|abbr=on}}.{{Clear}}{{Weather box|location= Riga|metric first= Y|single line= Y|Jan record high C = 10.2|Feb record high C = 13.5|Mar record high C = 20.5|Apr record high C = 27.9|May record high C = 30.1|Jun record high C = 33.8|Jul record high C = 34.1|Aug record high C = 33.6|Sep record high C = 29.3|Oct record high C = 23.4|Nov record high C = 17.2|Dec record high C = 11.5|year record high C= 34.1|Jan high C = -2.3|Feb high C = -1.7|Mar high C = 2.7|Apr high C = 9.8|May high C = 16.2|Jun high C = 20.1|Jul high C = 21.7|Aug high C = 21.0|Sep high C = 16.3|Oct high C = 10.4|Nov high C = 3.9|Dec high C = 0.3|Jan mean C = -5.1|Feb mean C = -4.7|Mar mean C = -1.0|Apr mean C = 5.4|May mean C = 11.1|Jun mean C = 15.1|Jul mean C = 17.0|Aug mean C = 16.4|Sep mean C = 12.2|Oct mean C = 7.2|Nov mean C = 1.7|Dec mean C = -2.1|Jan low C = −7.8|Feb low C = −7.6|Mar low C = −4.7|Apr low C = 1.0|May low C = 5.9|Jun low C = 10.0|Jul low C = 12.3|Aug low C = 11.8|Sep low C = 8.0|Oct low C = 4.0|Nov low C = −0.5|Dec low C = −4.4|Jan record low C = −33.7|Feb record low C = −34.9|Mar record low C = −23.3|Apr record low C = −11.4|May record low C = −5.3|Jun record low C = −1.2|Jul record low C = 4.0|Aug record low C = 0.0|Sep record low C = −4.1|Oct record low C = −8.7|Nov record low C = −18.9|Dec record low C = −31.9|year record low C= −34.9|precipitation colour = green|Jan precipitation mm = 33.7|Feb precipitation mm = 27.0|Mar precipitation mm = 27.9|Apr precipitation mm = 41.1|May precipitation mm = 42.5|Jun precipitation mm = 59.9|Jul precipitation mm = 74.3|Aug precipitation mm = 73.1|Sep precipitation mm = 78.9|Oct precipitation mm = 60.2|Nov precipitation mm = 57.3|Dec precipitation mm = 46.0|year precipitation mm=620.9|Jan precipitation days = 21.5|Feb precipitation days = 18.6|Mar precipitation days = 15.7|Apr precipitation days = 11.0|May precipitation days = 11.8|Jun precipitation days = 12.1|Jul precipitation days = 12.8|Aug precipitation days = 13.7|Sep precipitation days = 13.0|Oct precipitation days = 16.0|Nov precipitation days = 18.9|Dec precipitation days = 20.6|year precipitation days=185.7|Jan humidity = 87.9|Feb humidity = 85.2|Mar humidity = 79.4|Apr humidity = 69.7|May humidity = 67.7|Jun humidity = 72.0|Jul humidity = 74.2|Aug humidity = 76.7|Sep humidity = 81.1|Oct humidity = 85.1|Nov humidity = 90.2|Dec humidity = 89.4|year humidity= 79.9|Jan sun = 31.0|Feb sun = 62.2|Mar sun = 127.1|Apr sun = 183.0|May sun = 263.5|Jun sun = 288.0|Jul sun = 263.5|Aug sun = 229.4|Sep sun = 153.0|Oct sun = 93.0|Nov sun = 39.0|Dec sun = 21.7|year sun=1754.4| Jan uv =0| Feb uv =1| Mar uv =2| Apr uv =3| May uv =5| Jun uv =6| Jul uv =5| Aug uv =5| Sep uv =3| Oct uv =1| Nov uv =0| Dec uv =0
Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre>Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency (avg high and low),WEB,weblink World Weather Information Service – Riga, World Meteorological OrganizationNational Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration>NOAA (sun and extremes)WEB,weblink Riga Climate Normals 1961–1990, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationLAST=D.O.OWEBSITE=WEATHER ATLASACCESS-DATE=2019-07-06, }}


File:Riga - City Hall.jpg|thumb|Riga City CouncilRiga City CouncilFile:Zolitūdes traģēdijas parlamentārās izmeklēšanas komisija (16183536020).jpg|thumb|Nils UšakovsNils UšakovsThe head of the city government in Riga is the mayor. Incumbent mayor is Oļegs Burovs, who is a member of the Honor to serve Riga party.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 and the representatives delegated by the political parties or party blocks elected to the City Council.


With 632,614 inhabitants in 2019 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%, Belarusians 3.72%, Ukrainians 3.66%, Poles 1.83% and other ethnicities 8.10%. 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.WEB,weblink Population Census 2011 – Key Indicators,, 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 Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (Latvian) Retrieved 19 April 2013The 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 overtook 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 emigration.{{citation needed|date=July 2015}}

Historic population figures

ImageSize = width:650 height:300PlotArea = width:450 height:230 left:180 bottom:35AlignBars = lateDateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:0 till:909TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:100 start:0BarData=
bar:1897 text:"1897"
bar:1913 text:"1913"
bar:1920 text:"1920"
bar:1930 text:"1930"
bar:1940 text:"1940"
bar:1945 text:"1945"
bar:1950 text:"1950"
bar:1959 text:"1959"
bar:1970 text:"1970"
bar:1979 text:"1979"
bar:1990 text:"1990"
bar:2000 text:"2000"
bar:2010 text:"2010"
bar:2015 text:"2015"
bar:2017 text:"2017"
bar:1897 color:brightblue from:0 till:282
bar:1913 color:brightblue from:0 till:517
bar:1920 color:brightblue from:0 till:185
bar:1930 color:brightblue from:0 till:377
bar:1940 color:brightblue from:0 till:353
bar:1945 color:brightblue from:0 till:228
bar:1950 color:brightblue from:0 till:482
bar:1959 color:brightblue from:0 till:580
bar:1970 color:brightblue from:0 till:731
bar:1979 color:brightblue from:0 till:835
bar:1990 color:brightblue from:0 till:909
bar:2000 color:brightblue from:0 till:764
bar:2010 color:brightblue from:0 till:709
bar:2015 color:brightblue from:0 till:698
bar:2017 color:brightblue from:0 till:704
Note. 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 metallurgy.WEB,weblink / Uzņēmējdarbība / Nosaukti desmit lielākie eksportējošie uzņēmumi Rīgā un Rīgas reģionā,, 12 March 2013, Riga Port is one of the largest in the Baltics. It handled a record 34 million tons of cargo in 2011WEB, Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 11.01.2012.Print version,weblink Riga Freeport handles record-breaking 34.07 mln tons of cargo in 2011 :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics, The Baltic Course, 17 October 2012, 12 March 2013, and has potential for future growth with new port developments on Krievu Sala.WEB,weblink Latvia Shipping Report Q3 2012 by Business Monitor International in Latvia, Ports & Harbors, Logistics & Shipping,, 17 July 2012, 12 March 2013, Tourism is also a large industry in Riga and after a slowdown during the global economic recessions of the late 2000s, grew 22% in 2011 alone.WEB,weblink Tūristu skaits Latvijā pērn pieaudzis par 21%, Rīgā – par 22% – Izklaide,, 12 March 2013, File:Latvias Banka.JPG|Bank of LatviaFile:Riga stock exchange.jpg|Riga Stock Exchange early 20th century. Now The Art Museum Riga Bourse


File:Opera Nacional, Riga, Letonia, 2012-08-07, DD 15.JPG|thumb|right|The Latvian National OperaLatvian National Opera


  • The Latvian National Opera was founded in 1918. The repertoire of the theatre embraces all opera masterpieces. The Latvian National Opera is famous not only for its operas, but for its ballet troupe as well.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 December 2007, Latvian National Opera,, 6 May 2009, yes,
  • The 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.WEB,weblink Home » Latvijas Nacionālais teātris,, 2016-02-10,
  • The 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.
  • The 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.WEB, Nordik IT,weblink The Daile Theatre – Repertory,, 25 July 2009, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 29 April 2009,
  • Latvian State Puppet Theatre was founded in 1944. This theatre presents shows for children and adults.WEB,weblink Latvijas Leļļu teātris,,
  • The 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 from 9–19 July 2014 which coincided with the city being named European Capital of Culture for 2014.WEB,weblink Event Calendar of the 8th World Choir Games 2014, Rīga, Latvia, 5 January 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 6 February 2013, WEB,weblink Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014 :: LIVE RīGA,, 12 March 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 7 December 2012, 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".WEB,weblink History – World Choir Games,, 12 March 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 6 February 2013, 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.WEB,weblink Workshops – World Choir Games Riga 2014,, 12 March 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 6 February 2013,


File:Riga Castle seen across the river Daugava .jpg|thumb|right|Riga CastleRiga CastleThe 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 {{convert|368.5|m|ft|0|abbr=on}}. Riga centre also has many great examples of Art Nouveau architecture, as well as a medieval old town.

Art Nouveau

File:Immeuble art nouveau (Riga) (7567163020).jpg|thumb|right|Art Nouveau building on Alberta iela designed by Mikhail EisensteinMikhail EisensteinIt is generally recognized{{By whom|section=Discussion about whom|date=June 2019}} that Riga has largest{{Dubious|date=June 2019}} collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world{{Citation needed|date=August 2019}}. 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.BOOK, Grosa, Silvija, 2003, Art Nouveau in Riga, Jumava, 3, 9984-05-601-5, 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 {{Better source|date=August 2018}} making it{{When|date=June 2019}} the 4th{{Dubious|date=August 2018}} largest city in the Russian Empire (after Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw) and its largest{{When|date=June 2019}} 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 Riga Technical University, adopted current European movements and in particular Art Nouveau.JOURNAL, Krastins, Janis, 2006, Architecture and Urban Development of Art Nouveau – Metropolis Riga, International Review of Sociology, Routledge, 16, 2, 395–425, 10.1080/03906700600709327, Between 1910 and 1913, between 300 and 500 new buildings were built each year in Riga, most{{Dubious|date=August 2018}} 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 to 1960.10 YEARS FIBA EUROPE Federation Focus: Latvia., 24 September 2012.In 1960, ASK was not the only team from Riga to take the European crown. 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: A Closer Look {{Webarchive|url= |date=7 June 2015 }} eurobasket2015.orgIn 2015, Riga was one of the hosts for EuroBasket 2015.

Sports clubs

Dissolved Football Clubs
* Skonto FC – Skonto FC was a football club established in 1991. The club won fourteen successive Latvian Higher League titles. For a long time it provided the core of the Latvian national football team. Following financial problems, the club was demoted to the Latvian First League in 2016 and went bankrupt in December of that year and subsequently dissolved. * JFK Olimps – JFK Olimps played in the top division of Latvian football. The club was founded in 2005 and dissolved in 2012. According to a study from January 2011, the club was the youngest team in Europe, with an average age of 19.02 years.

Sports facilities

File:Skonto Stadions.jpg|right|thumb|Skonto StadiumSkonto Stadium

Sports events


(File:25. trolejbuss Krišjāņa Valdemāra ielas un Kalpaka bulvāra krustojumā.jpg|thumb|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 crosses Riga from the east and west, while the Via Baltica crosses Riga from the south and north.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) connects Old Riga and Pārdaugava; the Island Bridge (Salu tilts) connects Maskavas Forštate and Pārdaugava via Zaķusala; and the Shroud Bridge (Vanšu tilts) connects Old Riga and Pārdaugava via 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.WEB,weblink Explanatory Note on Planning and Building of the Southern Bridge Route,, 21 August 2007, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 28 September 2007, dmy-all, The 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.WEB,weblink Dienvidu Tilts; Project of the Bridge, 21 August 2007,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 15 September 2007, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Dienvidu tilta maģistrālie pievedceļi, Latvian,, 27 July 2009, Another major construction project is the planned Riga Northern Transport Corridor;WEB,weblink Northern Corridor; About project, 21 August 2007,, {{dead link|date=May 2017|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} its first segment detailed project was completed in 2015.WEB,weblink Izstrādāts Rīgas Ziemeļu transporta koridora 1.posma tehniskais projekts / būvprojekts,, Latvian, 8 January 2016, The Freeport of Riga facilitates cargo and passenger traffic by sea. Sea ferries currently connect Riga Passenger Terminal to Stockholm operated by Tallink.WEB,weblink Kursēšanas grafiki, Latvian, Tallink, 27 January 2015, File:Riga, Škoda 15T.jpg|thumb|A Škoda 15 TŠkoda 15 TRiga 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|lc=y}}.WEB,weblink Lidostā "Rīga" svinīgi atklāj jaunās piestātnes ēkas būvniecības sākšanu, Starptautiskā lidosta "Rīga", Latvian, 27 January 2015, The annual number of passengers has grown from 310,000 in 1993 to 4.7 million in 2014, making Riga International Airport the largest in the Baltic States.The former international airport of Riga, Spilve Airport, located {{convert|5|km|2|abbr=on}} from Riga city centre, is currently used for small aircraft, pilot training and recreational aviation. Riga was also home to a military air base during the Cold War — Rumbula Air Base.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 called Rail Baltica envisages building a high-speed railway line via Riga connecting Tallinn to Warsaw using standard gauge,WEB,weblink The trans-European transport network policy connecting East and West, 27 January 2015, expected to be put into operation in 2024.WEB,weblink The Rail Baltica II Joint venture of the Baltic States is established, Republic of Latvia Ministry of Transport, 28 October 2014, 27 January 2015, Riga International Coach Terminal provides domestic and international connections by coach.


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Notable residents

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Twin towns — sister cities

{{See also|List of twin towns and sister cities in Latvia}}Riga is twinned with:WEB, Rīgas Sadraudzības pilsētas,weblink, Rīga, lv, 2019-08-30, {{div col|colwidth=18em}} {{div col end}}

See also

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{{See also|Timeline of Riga#Bibliography|l1=Bibliography of the history of Riga}}

External links

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