Riga is the capital of Latvia and, with almost 630,000 inhabitants, by far the largest city in the country. It is located in the southwest of the historical landscape of Livonia near the mouth of the river Daugava in the Gulf of Riga. Historically, Riga was an important trading and Hanseatic city with a largely German-speaking population, whose political supremacy changed repeatedly. Until the end of the Middle Ages, it was mainly ecclesiastical rulers (Archbishopric of Riga, Teutonic Order) who claimed the city and the surrounding area for themselves. After a short period of Polish-Lithuanian rule, the city became part of Sweden in 1621. Just a century later, Riga became part of the Russian Empire and here became the capital of the Baltic governorate of Livonia. Only in 1918 Riga became the capital of an independent Latvian state.
Latvia is a Baltic state in the north-east of Europe and is home to about 1.9 million inhabitants. The capital of the country is Riga. The state borders in the west on the Baltic Sea and on the states of Lithuania, Estonia, Russia and Belarus. Latvia has been a member of the EU since 01.05.2004 and only became independent in the 19th century.