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Riga | Euro Palace Casino Blog

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Riga became an industrialised port city of the Russian empire , in which it remained until World War I.

By , 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.

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 , Riga's population was More and more Latvians started moving to the city during the midth 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 and the organisation of the first national song festival in The nationalist movement of the Neo-Latvians was followed by the socialist New Current during the city's rapid industrialisation, culminating in the Revolution led by the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party.

As a result of the battle of Jugla , the German army marched into Riga on 3 September Because of the Armistice with Germany of 11 November , 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 The majority of the Baltic Germans were resettled in late , prior to the occupation of Estonia and Latvia by the Soviet Union in June 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: The ballot must be deposited without any changes.

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.

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 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. Similar deportations were repeated after the end of WWII.

Stalin's deportations also included thousands of Latvian Jews. The mass deportation totalled , across the Baltics.

Similar atrocities were made after the Nazi occupation of Latvia when the city's Jewish community was forced into the Riga Ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp was constructed in Kaiserwald.

On 25 October , the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto. Most of Latvia's Jews about 24, were killed on 30 November and 8 December in the Rumbula massacre.

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. 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: Peter's Church which lost its wooden tower after a fire caused by the Wehrmacht renovated in Other example is The House of the Blackheads , completely destroyed, its ruins were subsequently demolished.

A facsimile was subsequently constructed in In , the percentage of Latvians in Riga had fallen to In , 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.

In November , 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".

Riga was the European Capital of Culture in Riga's administrative divisions consist of six administrative entities: Three entities were established on 1 September , and the other three were established in October The climate of Riga is humid continental Köppen Dfb.

The proximity of the sea causes frequent autumn rains and fogs. Continuous snow cover may last eighty days.

The head of the city government in Riga is the mayor. 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 , inhabitants in as according to the Central statistical administration of Latvia, [4] Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States , though its population has decreased from just over , in According to the data, ethnic Latvians made up Upon the restoration of Latvia's independence in , Soviet era immigrants and any of their offspring born before 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 citizens of Latvia made up In contrast, the percentage of Russians fell from Latvians overtook Russians as the largest ethnic group in Riga is one of the key economic and financial centres of the Baltic States.

The biggest exporters are in wood products, IT, food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, transport and metallurgy.

It handled a record 34 million tons of cargo in [59] and has potential for future growth with new port developments on Krievu Sala. Riga hosted the biannual World Choir Games from 9—19 July which coincided with the city being named European Capital of Culture for The competition is further divided into a Champions Competition and an Open Competition to allow choirs from all backgrounds to enter.

Riga centre also has many great examples of Art Nouveau architecture, as well as a medieval old town.

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.

Local architects, mostly graduates of Riga Technical University , adopted current European movements and in particular Art Nouveau.

Riga has a rich basketball history. 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.

In , Riga was one of the hosts for EuroBasket 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.

In , the first stage of the new Southern Bridge Dienvidu tilts route across the Daugava was completed, and was opened to traffic on 17 November.

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.

The Freeport of Riga facilitates cargo and passenger traffic by sea. Renovation and modernization of the airport was completed in , coinciding with the th anniversary of the city.

In , a new terminal extension was opened. Extension of the runway was completed in October , and the airport is now able to accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A, Boeing , , and Another terminal extension is under construction as of [update].

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 , [82] expected to be put into operation in Riga International Coach Terminal provides domestic and international connections by coach.

Riga maintains sister city relationships with the following cities: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Latvian capital.

For other uses, see Riga disambiguation. From top, left to right: History of Riga and Timeline of Riga. This section needs expansion.

You can help by adding to it. Neighbourhoods in Riga and List of tourist attractions in Riga. Administrative divisions of Riga.

Riga Stock Exchange early 20th century. Art Nouveau architecture in Riga. 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.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

June Learn how and when to remove this template message. List of twin towns and sister cities in Latvia. Retrieved 22 July Retrieved 2 August Retrieved 17 May Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Retrieved 24 July Retrieved 5 November Retrieved 27 July Retrieved 18 December Archived from the original PDF on 9 February Retrieved 9 February Retrieved 8 November Cities Environmental Reports on the Internet.

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Latvia as an Independent State. Livonicae Historiae Compendiosa Series, Riga nomen sortita est suum ab aedificiis vel horreis quorum a litus Dunae magna fuit copia, quas livones sua lingua Rias vocare soliti.

Archived from the original on History of the Christian Church. Catholic Origin of Latvia , ed. Riga, as the most vibrant and cosmopolitan city of the Baltics, offers countless opportunities to sample both local cuisine and international favorites.

Latvian food can be hearty, using a lot of potato, cabbage, beef, pork and fish. A diversity of foreign cuisines is also available -- sushi restaurants in particular are in vogue.

A common scam, which targets men, begins by having someone you meet randomly coax you into a bar. If you can't pay with cash, the bar will take credit cards - or you might be forced to withdraw money from their handy ATM.

If you refuse to pay, the exit door will most likely be blocked by a large bouncer. To avoid this scam just enter bars recommended to you by someone you can trust but not people randomly met.

Use your judgment when entering a bar, or check reviews of the establishment online before entering. In addition to the independent coffee shops listed below, several international coffee chains such as Double Coffee , Coffee Inn , and Costa Coffee , have locations in Riga.

Riga is a major nightlife destination for tourists and bars here are often open later than those in other European cities. A specialty liquor is Riga Balsam , which is an acquired taste.

Riga is known for a sparkling nightlife. There is a difference in style between 'Russian' clubs and 'Latvian' clubs.

All hotels and hostels offer free WiFi and many have computer terminals. Almost all accept credit cards. Riga is a quiet city for its size and crime is very low if compared to other EU capitals.

The Old Town area becomes flooded with tourists during weekends so can become a bit rowdy during the evenings, however the rest of Riga remains quiet and calm as most tourists stick to the Old Town area bars.

See the info box in the Riga Drink section regarding common bar scams in Riga. Maskavas is the area along the Daugava River east of the train station.

Maskavas had a bad reputation due to its high crime rate, buildings in disrepair, and homeless vagrants. Overall the area has improved immensely and is now a safe place to visit or live in.

Even after dark, while you might meet a drunk or homeless person, your odds of encountering a person walking her dog, a couple on a romantic stroll or a teenager whizzing past you on a skateboard are considerably higher.

Obviously the common sense still applies. Generally, this area is fairly safe. However, precautions must be taken to avoid being scammed or robbed.

The station invites a rather motley sort of unsavory types. Keep your bags and personal items on your person and in your sight at all times.

For males, it's advised to use situational awareness if approached by random women. If approached, expect to be given a sob story about losing their wallet or ticket.

Another tactic they use is to flirt and attempt to entice you to go back to your hotel or her place. If you are inclined to go off with her, you maybe robbed.

Also, watch out for hawkers, as they are generally trying to sell you overpriced and stolen merchandise. Generally, the perpetrators tend to be gypsies.

Stay firm- don't buy from hawkers and don't walk off with any strangers, no matter how much she pretends to be into you. Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

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Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 3 November , at Text is available under [http: Privacy policy About Wikitravel Terms of use Mobile view.

Riga Contents 1 Understand 1. Talk [ edit ] The official language of Latvia is Latvian ; however, in Riga, the majority of the population speaks both Latvian and Russian.

There are designated areas in the airport where smoking is allowed. To travel between the airport to the city: The journey to the old town takes minutes.

The last buses leave the airport at 0: The bus stop is located opposite the entrance of the terminal. There is a ticket machine at the bus stop or tickets can be bought at the Narvessen shop near the TGI Friday's at the departure level in the airport.

Note that day and multi-day passes are not valid on the minibuses. The ride to the center by taxi takes 15 minutes. Some taxis will illegaly try to charge even more.

The best way to hire a taxi is to use the Taxify mobile app, which allows you to see the rates being charged, time to pickup, enter the destination, and pay with the credit card that is linked to your account.

Service to the old town takes 15 minutes. Wheelchair accessible mini vans are available but must be pre-ordered. Personal Minibus offers airport transfer for groups.

By bus [ edit ] There are international bus connections to anywhere in Europe, including frequent service to Tallinn and Tartu in Estonia , and Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania.

Ecolines - operates service between Riga and most major cities in Europe. Flybus - Service between Riga and the airports of Kaunas and Vilnius.

Traveller Tours - Minibus sightseeing tours from Tallinn to Riga, stopping off at different sights along the way. By train [ edit ] Latvian Railways operates service to many cities in Latvia , including the suburbs of Riga, as well as a few cities in Russia , Belarus , and Estonia.

By foot [ edit ] Old Town is comprised mainly of rounded cobblestone streets that may be hard to walk on if you are not wearing proper shoes.

By public transport [ edit ] The city-owned Rigas Satiksme operates the trams street-cars , buses , minibuses , and trolleybuses.

By bicycle [ edit ] SIXT Latvia operates self-service bicycle rentals at numerous bicycle stands across the city.

By taxi [ edit ] The way to hire a taxi is to use mobile apps such as Taxify or ClickTaxi which allows you to see the rates being charged, time to pickup and pay with the credit card.

By car [ edit ] There are several car rental offices in Riga airport as well as in other parts of the town. Drunk driving [ edit ] Driving drunk is considered a serious law violation.

See [ edit ] [ add listing ] The view southeast from St. Organized tours [ edit ] The tourist office, located inside the House of Blackheads, offers both guided tours and free pamphlets, complete with detailed descriptions of many buildings, for independent walks.

The House of Blackheads is where the merchants-to-be had their guild. Part of this building is the tourist information office, the rest is a fascinating museum.

The upper levels house grand ballrooms while the basement has a wine cellar and several exhibits relating to trading in Riga. Pretty to look at, but not open for visitors.

Housed the guild of the tradesmen, who would join after being a member of the Blackheads see House of Blackheads.

Home to the Latvian Philharmonic, but you can't just walk inside. It's the exterior that's worth seeing though.

Another pretty building just behind the Big Guild, this one housed the craftsmen's guild. Like the Big Guild, you can't go inside except for a performance.

This building also housing a pub of no particular note is most famous for the two statues of black cats on the roofs. The legend has it that a disgruntled tradesman who was not accepted into the Big Guild, built this house and put the cats on it with their tails pointing towards the Big Guild, thus expressing his scorn.

Wagner once lived in Riga, on the street now named after him. This hall where he performed occasionally holds concerts.

The Three Brothers are the oldest dwelling houses in Riga. One of them has a small architecture museum inside, along with changing exhibits about Latvia.

The last remaining gate from the old city walls. A rather plain building housing the Saeima , Latvia's parliament.

It has had a number of uses--including as a soviet-era museum. Other Art Nouveau buildings can be seen in the area around the Freedom Monument, including the embassies on Raina Bulvaris and on Strelnieku iela.

Jacob's Barracks , Torna iela. The primary attraction here is the last remaining stretch of city wall directly opposite the barracks.

Freedom Monument is one of Latvia's national symbols. It was erected during the first independence and surprisingly never taken down by the Soviets although laying flowers at its feet was forbidden.

The statue of a woman holding three stars at the top of the monument represents Freedom embracing Latvia's regions.

Laima is a Latvian chocolate manufacturer and means good luck in Latvian. An artists' island is starting to emerge behind the passengers port a short distance north from the Old town.

Many embassies were located there pre-WWII. A good example of Jugendstil, the Agenskalns market building was first started in It still operates as an authentic farmers market, you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.

This is also a good starting point for a walking tour of Agenskalns city district A modern building with an excavated fragment of the historical Riga fortification wall system along the river.

The building has the best view terraces in Riga. A meter-high tower built of concrete and standing on three legs.

It has an observation deck at a height of 97 metres. Built in , this building is often called Stalin's Birthday Cake because of it's austere and ornamented design.

Entry to the 17th-floor terrace: This noticeable and austere black building is clearly out-of-place. In the Soviet days, this housed a museum to the Red Riflemen, a group of Latvians who volunteered for the service to Russia during the Russian revolution of Now it houses a museum of Latvia's time under both the Nazi and Soviet occupations.

Outside the building away from the town square stands the Soviet-era Monument to the Riflemen. Covers the history of porcelain in Riga through the 19th and 20th centuries.

One of Riga's weirdest museums, it covers the history of sun mythology and its role in Latvian culture. The castle itself is fairly uninteresting, but it houses the following 2 museums: The History Museum is interesting, however there is little English Every room has its exhibits summarized on a single plaque.

However, the museum does give a very good idea of Latvian history, and will give you a good understanding of the area.

The less interesting of the two museums: Covers the dramatic events that occurred in the tumultuous final year of the USSR, when Soviet authorities sent troops into Riga to overthrow the elected Latvian government.

Actually 2 museums plus a number of special exhibits, though you pay one price. Like the National Museum, English translations are limited to plaques summarizing rooms, but here you can also pick up pieces of paper describing some of the exhibits.

Both of the main museums are quite interesting, and they provide a good idea of what Riga was like in the past.

Riga's premier museum for modern art. In a renovated 18th century house. Small museum dedicated to Jewish life in Latvia since the 16th century.

Includes information on destruction of the synagogues by the Nazis, and the Latvians that saved Jews during the Holocaust.

Exhibits are in English and Latvian. The collection contains more than exhibits, including former vehicles of Stalin, Kruschev, and Brezhnev.

The Riga Ethnographic Museum is in Jugla, near a lake of the same name. The employees are often dressed in the traditional Latvian costumes, creating a nice atmosphere.

And also with the help of original works introduce society with the unique basic values and essential style features of naive art.

A splendid example of high Soviet art and the biggest occupation-era monument in Latvia. If you've never seen a Soviet monument before, you should really check this out.

Constains photos of Latvia since , wih focuses on the World Wars and Revolution. The railway museum exhibits several collections of Soviet rolling stock.

Theatre museum is located in the eccentrically designed and furnished pre-war house of a former director of Riga Daile Theatre and one of the key figures in Latvian theatre of the 20th century.

Bored at the airport? Check out the Riga Aviation museum [24] , which contains several rare aircrafts. Peters Church, dating to , is Riga's oldest church.

Besides its ensemble of architecture, the church has an elevator to the tower from where you can see all of Riga service not available on Mondays. John's Church , 7 Jana iela.

A smaller, less spectacular church near St. There is a nice altar inside, and unlike most Riga churches, this one is free. The altar is from the Renaissance period and depicts the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

The ceiling is from the Gothic period, and has 5 separate vaulted compartments. There is also a huge pipe organ, and many stained glass windows.

This church dates back to the mid 's. Dating to , this is one of the few Catholic churches left in Riga. At one point, it housed one of Riga's first schools.

Dating to , it is one of Riga's symbols. The pipe organ inside is particularly spectacular. Besides the organ, however, the interior is rather spartan, and may not be worth the entrance fee.

Currently, even the organ is being restored. The Orthodox Cathedral was erected during Russian rule ofr Russian residents. In contrast to its relatively plain exterior, it is spectacular on the inside, but be aware that shorts are not allowed.

Donated by Riga's sister city Kobe. Beautiful Art Nouveau building from renovated in , constructed by W. Neumann, architect of National Museum of Arts, and using lavish Egyptian, Babylonian and Phoenician decorative motifs.

The only synagogue to survive the Holocaust, continued to function all through the Soviet occupation years. Currently is a center of Jewish religious life in Riga.

Between the prayers can be visited as as tourist object, usually there would be someone to show around in English 3 EUR.

Mostly in ruins since the Germans burned it down on July 4, with people locked inside. There is a memorial to Latvians who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

An Old Believers' church. An unusually-designed Lutheran church. A pretty building in its own right, this is also a nice place to see an opera or ballet.

Beaches [ edit ] Kipsala Island - just across the Shroud Bridge from the city centre. Parks and gardens [ edit ] Esplanade Park , a block from the Freedom Monument.

Designed by Georg Kuphaldt, who was expelled by Germany in as a spy because he had a telescope in his garden. A small, pleasant park surrounding Brivibas Bulvaris.

The Bridge of Love has several locks on the railings put up by recently married couples.

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Along with German traders the monk Meinhard of Segeberg [18] 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.

Albert landed in Riga in [19] [24] with 23 ships [25] and Westphalian crusaders. The year also marked the first arrival of German merchants in Novgorod, via the Dvina.

The Christianization of the Livs continued. In , Albert started to fortify the town. 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.

Riga's merchant citizenry chafed and sought greater autonomy from the Church. In , they acquired the right to independently self-administer Riga [28] and adopted a city constitution.

That same year Albert was compelled to recognise Danish rule over lands they had conquered in Estonia and Livonia.

The Germans attempted, but failed, to assassinate Valdemar. Albert's difficulties with Riga's citizenry continued; with papal intervention, a settlement was reached in whereby they no longer had to pay tax to the Bishop of Riga, [38] and Riga's citizens acquired the right to elect their magistrates and town councillors.

James's Church , [19] now a cathedral and founded a parochial school at the Church of St. Albert died in January In , 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.

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 , ending the power of the archbishops. In , 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.

In , during the Polish—Swedish War — , 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.

Riga remained the largest city in Sweden until , [ citation needed ] a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous self-government.

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: Sweden's northern dominance had ended, and Russia's emergence as the strongest Northern power was formalised through the Treaty of Nystad in Riga became an industrialised port city of the Russian empire , in which it remained until World War I.

By , 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.

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 , Riga's population was More and more Latvians started moving to the city during the midth 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 and the organisation of the first national song festival in The nationalist movement of the Neo-Latvians was followed by the socialist New Current during the city's rapid industrialisation, culminating in the Revolution led by the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party.

As a result of the battle of Jugla , the German army marched into Riga on 3 September Because of the Armistice with Germany of 11 November , 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 The majority of the Baltic Germans were resettled in late , prior to the occupation of Estonia and Latvia by the Soviet Union in June 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: The ballot must be deposited without any changes.

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. 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 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. Similar deportations were repeated after the end of WWII.

Stalin's deportations also included thousands of Latvian Jews. The mass deportation totalled , across the Baltics. Similar atrocities were made after the Nazi occupation of Latvia when the city's Jewish community was forced into the Riga Ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp was constructed in Kaiserwald.

On 25 October , the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto. Most of Latvia's Jews about 24, were killed on 30 November and 8 December in the Rumbula massacre.

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. 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: Peter's Church which lost its wooden tower after a fire caused by the Wehrmacht renovated in Other example is The House of the Blackheads , completely destroyed, its ruins were subsequently demolished.

A facsimile was subsequently constructed in In , the percentage of Latvians in Riga had fallen to In , 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.

In November , 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".

Riga was the European Capital of Culture in Riga's administrative divisions consist of six administrative entities: Three entities were established on 1 September , and the other three were established in October The climate of Riga is humid continental Köppen Dfb.

The proximity of the sea causes frequent autumn rains and fogs. Continuous snow cover may last eighty days. The head of the city government in Riga is the mayor.

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 , inhabitants in as according to the Central statistical administration of Latvia, [4] Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States , though its population has decreased from just over , in According to the data, ethnic Latvians made up Upon the restoration of Latvia's independence in , Soviet era immigrants and any of their offspring born before 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 citizens of Latvia made up In contrast, the percentage of Russians fell from Latvians overtook Russians as the largest ethnic group in Riga is one of the key economic and financial centres of the Baltic States.

The biggest exporters are in wood products, IT, food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, transport and metallurgy. It handled a record 34 million tons of cargo in [59] and has potential for future growth with new port developments on Krievu Sala.

Riga hosted the biannual World Choir Games from 9—19 July which coincided with the city being named European Capital of Culture for The competition is further divided into a Champions Competition and an Open Competition to allow choirs from all backgrounds to enter.

Riga centre also has many great examples of Art Nouveau architecture, as well as a medieval old town. 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.

Local architects, mostly graduates of Riga Technical University , adopted current European movements and in particular Art Nouveau.

Riga has a rich basketball history. 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.

In , Riga was one of the hosts for EuroBasket 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.

In , the first stage of the new Southern Bridge Dienvidu tilts route across the Daugava was completed, and was opened to traffic on 17 November.

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.

The Freeport of Riga facilitates cargo and passenger traffic by sea. Renovation and modernization of the airport was completed in , coinciding with the th anniversary of the city.

In , a new terminal extension was opened. Extension of the runway was completed in October , and the airport is now able to accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A, Boeing , , and Another terminal extension is under construction as of [update].

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 , [82] expected to be put into operation in Riga International Coach Terminal provides domestic and international connections by coach.

Riga maintains sister city relationships with the following cities: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Latvian capital.

For other uses, see Riga disambiguation. From top, left to right: History of Riga and Timeline of Riga. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

Neighbourhoods in Riga and List of tourist attractions in Riga. Administrative divisions of Riga. Riga Stock Exchange early 20th century. We can show you the cheapest days of the month to fly.

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