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History of Riga

2500 – 2000 B.C.
First settlements in the area are dated from this time

10th – 11 century
First settlements of local inhabitants (Livs, Couronians and Semigallians)

1150 (around)
Riga was a trading place with tradesmen coming both from West and East

Bishop Albert of Livona arrives with 23 ships of crusaders where the river Dvina (Daugava) meets the Baltic Sea.

Riga was founded by the Bishop Albert and he founded the Brothers of the Sword

The Livonian Brothers of the Sword joins the Teutonic Knights, that has got official recognition as a separate order in February

by Pope Innocent III,

Riga joined the Hanseatic League and was the biggest Hanseatic town in Eastern Baltics. The Hanseatic League (Hansa) was formed around the middle of the 12th century by German and Scandinavian seafaring merchants. the mercantile league of medieval German towns. The Dvina river was an important trade routes into Russia.

The Livonian War starts.

The surrounding land of Riga was passed to Poland by the Teutonic Knights

Riga itself compelled to capitulate to the Polish King Stephan Batory and was passed to the Poland-Lithuanian state.


Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden captured Riga, but both Poles and Swedes granted Riga autonomy of government.


Sweden formally ceded the city by the Treaty of Nystad in 1721 to Czar Peter I and the Russian Empire.

World War I. German troops conquer Latvia.

Riga became capital of independent Latvia

Latvia was occupied by the Russians and incorporated into the Soviet Union.

World war II. Riga underwent German occupation. The Latvians are forced to fight in both occupant armies – the Red army and the German army. The city sustained heavy damage. 35% of the nation perish, are mass deported to Siberia or emigrate as an outcome of the war

Latvia remains under Soviet control, a large Russian immigration starts.

Aug 21, Latvia declared itself as an independent democratic state with Riga as the capital.

On September independence of Latvia was recognised by main European countries and USA and September 6th USSR recognised Latvia. On 17th of September Latvia became a member of the United Nations.

May 1, Latvia became member of the European Union.

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