The crimson-white-crimson flag of Latvia is one of the oldest in the world and dates back to a battle near in the 13th century. According to one legend, it originated from a white sheet used to carry a mortally wounded Latvian chief from the battlefield. Soaked with his blood on two sides, his soldiers picked the warrior’s sheet as a banner as it led them to victory. The coat of arms
Latvia’s coat of arms combines the traditional symbols of Latvian statehood and national identity – three stars, the sun, the sea and oak leaves. Latvia’s historical districts of Kurzeme and Zemgale are represented by a red lion, while Vidzeme and Latgale are depicted by a silver griffin. Location
Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Lithuania to the south and the Baltic Sea to the west. Its strategic location has made it an international crossroad for trade, commerce and cultural exchange since ancient times. Population
Latvians are the local people of Latvia. Latvia’s present ethnic mix is largely a result of massive post-war immigration, which resulted in a decline in the share of ethnic Latvians from 77% in 1935 to 52% in 1989. Population in 2010: 2 248 374
Latvia’s political, economic and culture centre is in Rīga, where more than one third of Latvia’s population (706 thousand) lives and works. As one of the new stars of the dynamic Baltic Sea region, Rīga has hosted a NATO summit, world hockey championship, the Eurovision Song Contest and many other large-scale international events. Rīga’s International Airport is one of the fastest growing travel hubs in Europe. Doma square
The place that is nowadays called Dome Square is an ancient showplace of Old Riga. In the 1860s habitation were destroyed in the western part of the Dome and the present western entrance of the church was built. But in the thirties of the previous century the squares of private houses were destroyed to the north of the Dome. The square is surrounded by...