Riga

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Riga is the capital of Latvia. Population circa 1 million.

At Riga, the river Daugava drains into the Baltic Sea.

In 1180 AD Baltic-German tradesmen founded Riga in Livland- Livonia. 1201 Archbishop Albert of Buxthoeven-Bremen and Riga gave Riga city rights. Riga as well as Livonia and Prussia were part of the Holy Roman-German empire, where some areas were ruled by archbishops. At the time of Luther Livonia and Prussia became Protestant. Albrecht of Brandenburg-Ansbach Hohenzollern and since 1525 Herzog duke of Prussia translated and created the first books in Latvian and Lithuanian language. For official government language of the Hanseatic League city of Riga the German language was used. All vital statistics, birth, marriage ,death records are in German until 1891. In 1891 the language changed to Russian. In 1900 the population of Riga was l/4 Latvian, 1/4 Russian , 1/2 Balten-Deutsche- Baltic-Germans.


In the 17th century, when parts of Latvia belonged to the kingdom of Sweden, Riga was Sweden's biggest city, bigger than Stockholm.