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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. Riga portal Latvia portal. Retrieved 22 July Retrieved 2 August Retrieved 7 Jan 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 Archived from the original on 20 October 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. Retrieved 29 July The Medieval Chronicle V.

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The Popes and the Baltic Crusades, — From Paganism to Christianity, —AD. Handbook for Travelers in Russia, Poland, and Finland. London, John Murray, Retrieved 16 September Archived from the original on 21 February Retrieved 10 February Tallinn University of Technology. Retrieved 29 June Riga City Council Development Agency. Riga City Environment Centre "Agenda 21". Retrieved 4 April National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Retrieved 2 February Retrieved 12 March Print version 17 October Archived from the original on 26 December Retrieved 6 May Archived from the original on 29 April Retrieved 25 July Archived from the original PDF on 6 February Retrieved 5 January Archived from the original on 7 December Archived from the original on 6 February Art Nouveau in Riga. International Review of Sociology. Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 21 August Archived from the original on 15 September Retrieved 8 January Retrieved 27 January Republic of Latvia Ministry of Transport.

Retrieved 20 February Archived from the original on 7 September Retrieved 19 August Archived from the original on 14 November Retrieved 26 July Archived from the original on 17 January Retrieved 23 June Mairie de Bordeaux in French. Archived from the original on 7 February Archived from the original on 18 July Retrieved 9 August Archived from the original on 28 May Retrieved 23 May Kobe Trade Information Office. Archived from the original on 21 April In , he was asked by a customer to make a strong pair of trousers for her woodcutter husband — his creation would become the template for modern denim jeans, and two years later, with help from Levi Strauss, he patented the product.

Blonde parade - Riga, Letonia

Eighty-two years later the real Napoleonic army appeared, and you can still find the names of the French soldiers gouged in the plaster of the Gold Hall. Black Balsam is a traditional liquer made using 24 different plants, flowers, buds, juices, roots, oils and berries prepared in oak barrels. Around 20 per cent of Latvia is protected. There are four national parks, 42 nature parks, nature reserves, nature monuments, seven protected marine areas, 24 micro reserves and a biosphere reserve.

It topped the Environmental Performance Index in In it came up with a novel concept — letting passengers create their own in-flight meal when they book their ticket. This former military prison in the town of Karosta is now a hostel. Riga is one of 14 capital cities that consists of only four letters. Born in Dundaga in , he moved to Australia in and spent years hunting crocs in Queensland. The economic crisis of proved earlier assumptions that the fast-growing economy was heading for implosion of the economic bubble , because it was driven mainly by growth of domestic consumption , financed by a serious increase of private debt , as well as a negative foreign trade balance.

Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. Virtually all of the previously state-owned small and medium companies have been privatised, leaving only a small number of politically sensitive large state companies. Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. A law expanding the scope for selling land, including to foreigners, was passed in Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, and intellectual property protection and avoidance of double taxation.

The Latvian economy entered a phase of fiscal contraction during the second half of after an extended period of credit-based speculation and unrealistic appreciation in real estate values. Latvia's unemployment rate rose sharply in this period from a low of 5. The most acute problems are on Europe's periphery, where many smaller economies are experiencing crises strongly reminiscent of past crises in Latin America and Asia: Latvia is the new Argentina [].

However, by , commentators [] [] noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. The strengthening regional economy is supporting Latvian production and exports, while the sharp swing in the current account balance suggests that the country's 'internal devaluation' is working. The IMF concluded the First Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with the Republic of Latvia in July announcing that Latvia's economy has been recovering strongly since , following the deep downturn in — Real GDP growth of 5.

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The growth momentum has continued into and despite deteriorating external conditions, and the economy is expected to expand by 4. The unemployment rate has receded from its peak of more than 20 percent in to around 9. Most transit traffic uses these and half the cargo is crude oil and oil products. Apart from road and railway connections, Ventspils is also linked to oil extraction fields and transportation routes of Russian Federation via system of two pipelines from Polotsk , Belarus. Riga International Airport is the busiest airport in the Baltic states with 6.

It has direct flight to over 80 destinations in 30 countries. Latvia's railway network is currently incompatible with European standard gauge lines. In there were a total of , licensed vehicles in Latvia. In the recent years a couple of dozen of wind farms as well as biogas or biomass power stations of different scale have been built in Latvia. Biggest employers in Latvia in List of biggest companies by profit in Latvia in The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. Latvia's population has been multiethnic for centuries, though the demographics shifted dramatically in the 20th century due to the World Wars, the emigration and removal of Baltic Germans , the Holocaust , and occupation by the Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Empire Census of , Latvians formed As of March , Latvians form about There were , non-citizens living in Latvia or In some cities, e. The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian , which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family.

English and Russian are also widely accepted in Latvia, especially in business and tourism. On 18 February , Latvia held a constitutional referendum on whether to adopt Russian as a second official language.

Since then, Lutheranism has declined to a slightly greater extent than Roman Catholicism in all three Baltic states. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated , members in , was affected most adversely.

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An internal document of 18 March , near the end of communist rule, spoke of an active membership that had shrunk to only 25, in Latvia, but the faith has since experienced a revival. In , there were Jews and Muslims living in Latvia.


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There are more than Latvian neopagans , Dievturi The Godskeepers , whose religion is based on Latvian mythology. University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two major universities in the country, both established on the basis of Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga. The University of Daugavpils is another significant centre of education. Latvia closed schools between and , which is a The Latvian policy of science and technology set out the long term goal — transition from labor-consuming economy to knowledge-based economy.

Latvia develop their scientific potential on the basis of the existing scientific traditions, particularly in organic chemistry, medical chemistry, genetic engineering, physics, materials science and information technologies. The Latvian healthcare system is a universal programme , largely funded through government taxation.

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Traditional Latvian folklore , especially the dance of the folk songs , dates back well over a thousand years. Between the 13th and 19th centuries, Baltic Germans , many of whom were originally of non-German ancestry but had been assimilated into German culture , formed the upper class. It has survived in German Baltic families to this day, in spite of their dispersal to Germany, the United States, Canada and other countries in the early 20th century.

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However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. In the 19th century, Latvian nationalist movements emerged. They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities. The 19th century and beginning of the 20th century is often regarded by Latvians as a classical era of Latvian culture. Posters show the influence of other European cultures, for example, works of artists such as the Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert and the French Raoul Dufy.

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It has been held since , normally every five years. Approximately 30, performers altogether participate in the event. After incorporation into the Soviet Union , Latvian artists and writers were forced to follow the socialist realism style of art. During the Soviet era, music became increasingly popular, with the most popular being songs from the s.

At this time, songs often made fun of the characteristics of Soviet life and were concerned about preserving Latvian identity. This aroused popular protests against the USSR and also gave rise to an increasing popularity of poetry. Since independence, theatre, scenography , choir music , and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture. During July , Riga hosted the 8th World Choir Games as it played host to over 27, choristers representing over choirs and over 70 countries.

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