Latvia will undoubtedly appeal to those who like to wander among the architectural monuments of the Middle Ages, appreciate untouched nature and a comfortable stay at the sea. Tourists are attracted by the low prices of the Baltic resorts, the romance of the Riga seaside and musical events in Jurmala. According to itypejob.com, Riga is the capital of Latvia.
A great time to visit the country, especially with family, will be the months from May to September. At this time, you can enjoy the sea air in pleasant temperature and climatic conditions. Sea holidays in Jurmala will be good for the whole family. You can swim in the Baltic Sea only in July-August, but in other months there is a lot of entertainment on the coast. Moderate solar activity will allow even small children to sunbathe.
Jurmala and Liepaja are considered sanatorium cities. Their sea coast beckons with its fresh breeze. Jurmala is one of the largest seaside resorts in the Baltics. This city connects three zones and components of recreation: sea, forest and cultural. On the Riga coast there is the Kemeri National Park, an open-air museum, the famous Dzintari Hall. There are a lot of cozy cafes on the coast. Rest in Latvia is unthinkable without a visit to the beautiful Jurmala, which is located just 20 km from the capital.
Tours to Latvia involve acquaintance with the historical heritage of the country. Tourists are impressed by the appearance of the Latvian capital, Riga. In the Baltic country, there are many historical castles and other buildings that were significant in their time. For example, the Jaunmok Palace in the Tukums region, as well as the Jelgava, Rundale, Bauska castles.
Holidays in Latvia are characterized by moderate prices for travel and accommodation, food and entertainment. Although you will have to obtain a Schengen visa to visit the country, tourists will not feel a language barrier either in communication or in visiting cafes or museums.
Latvia is very careful about nature and cultural heritage.
SIGHTS OF RIGA
Riga got its name from the river Ridzene, which at that time flowed into the Daugava. The founder of the city, Bishop Albert, considered the location very successful, and in the summer of 1201 the first stone was laid. Riga received city status in 1225.
The oldest place in the city is Albert Square, where the Ridzene flowed into the Daugava, and the harbor was located. In the vicinity of the square, many old warehouses or barns have been preserved. They appeared in the second half of the 13th century, and by the middle of the 16th century there were already up to 160 warehouses. Warehouses are mostly 2-4-story buildings with a high, steep gable roof, under which attic floors are also equipped. Large gates lead from the facade for the import of goods, and special hatches for loading and small windows for lighting are cut on the upper floors.
Town Hall Square formed in the middle of the 13th century. In the beginning, there was a city market here. The orders of the city authorities were also read here, various celebrations, festive processions, tournaments, etc. were held here. Public executions were carried out here. In the center of the square stands a statue of Roland – a symbol of judicial power, freedom and independence of the medieval city, as well as the protection of trade. The most elegant and impressive on the Town Hall Square was the House of the Blackheads, where the brotherhood of single merchants of the city gathered. This house, first mentioned in the historical chronicles in 1334, was blown up in 1941 and rebuilt in 1999. The building was built in the Gothic style and resembled a medieval residential building. In 1896 it was reconstructed, at the same time the symbols of the Hanseatic city and the allegorical figures of Neptune, Mercury, Unity and Peace were placed in the Gothic niches.
Cathedral of St. Peter, famous in ancient times for the height of its spire, was first mentioned in 1209. The oldest urban religious building, demonstrating the power of episcopal power, was erected in a restrained Gothic style characteristic of Europe; its baroque façade is adorned with sculptural biblical figures created in the 17th century. The metal-cast spire of the Petrovsky Cathedral, 123.5 meters high, was reconstructed in the post-war years after another fire in Europe’s tallest wooden tower. In 1984, the reconstruction of the interior of the cathedral was completed. Now exhibitions and concerts are held here. At a height of 57 and 71 meters there are observation platforms.
The oldest brick building in Riga, which houses the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, is the former Church of St. George. Built in 1202, this fortress-like building was the residence of the Order of the Sword, the buildings of the courtyard are now called the Convent Yard. After the restoration in 1996, cozy hotels are located here. After another defeat in the struggle of the order with the townspeople, the first one had to change its location, the castle was transferred to the hospital of the Holy Spirit, which founded a monastery here, and later a shelter for the elderly.
Nearby is the church of John the Baptist, built in the late Gothic style. It originated from the first chapel of the former episcopal castle; then a Dominican monastery arose on this site, the monks began to build this church. During the years of the Reformation, after the closing of the monastery in 1582, the first Latvian parish was formed here.
Through the monastery gates you can go to Yanov Dvor, where the realities of the Middle Ages are recreated. Here are the remains of a rampart 11 meters high and 2.5 meters thick that once surrounded Riga. A wooden, tiled gallery serves to protect the loopholes embedded in the wall.
Livu Square houses the buildings of the guilds, or brotherhoods, erected in 1221. For meetings and meetings of merchants of various guilds in 1330, the Great Guild was erected (now it is the Riga Philharmonic), and opposite is the Small Guild, rebuilt in 1864 in the neo-Gothic style.
Nearby is the famous “Cat’s House”, because. on top of both turrets there are crampons with curved backs. The legend says that when a wealthy merchant was expelled from the guild, he decided to avenge the offense and ordered to build a house opposite the guild, where cats planted on the turrets with raised tails turned their backs to the offenders. However, now the cats are turned in the opposite direction…
In 1211, the crusaders began to build the 87-meter Dome Cathedral, completed at the end of the 13th century. Before that, there was a place of ancient burials, and the Germans continued this tradition, burying clergy and eminent citizens in the bowels of the cathedral or its environs. The Dome Cathedral, next to which the Dome School was located, has repeatedly changed its appearance – the altar and the vaults of the eastern wing have been preserved in the original Romanesque style, the Baroque tower was completed only in 1776, the lightness typical of Gothic is felt in the windows, and the modern lobby reminds of the influence of Art Nouveau. After the Reformation, the parish of the Dome Cathedral became Evangelical Lutheran.
On Maza Pils Street, you can see peculiar, closely clinging to each other houses – ” Three Brothers” – a complex of residential buildings of the 15th-17th centuries.
Opposite them is the Catholic Church of St. James, built during the transition from Romanesque to Gothic in 1225. The baroque rounding at the bottom, to which the clock is attached, was built in later times. Once upon a time, instead of a clock, a bell hung, ringing, calling the townspeople to the Town Hall Square, where public executions were carried out. Hence the legend that this bell rings when a wife who is unfaithful to her husband passes by.
Riga Castle, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1330, changed its owners very often, and served as a residence for the Germans, Swedes, Poles and Russians. The Museum of Foreign Art, the Museum of Literature, Art and Music and the Museum of History are located here.
The only surviving Swedish Gate appeared in 1698 in Swedish times as a lockable through passage through the ancient city wall, the remains of which are revealed at the Powder Tower built at the end of the 13th century, which was one of the most important towers in the city wall and has survived to this day. Gunpowder was stored there. Nearby are the Jēkaba Barracks, which were built in the 18th century in close proximity to the defensive rampart and were at that time the longest building in Riga.
GENERAL INFORMATION – LATVIA
Area: 64.5 thousand km2. Bridge Riga Latvia
Population: 2 million 479 thousand people (1998).
State language: Latvian.
Capital: Riga (826 thousand inhabitants, 1996).
Public holiday: Proclamation of the Republic Day (November 18, since 1918).
Monetary unit: euro.
Member of the UN since 1991. Member of the Council of Europe since 1995. Member of the European Union since 2004.
Located in northern Europe, in the Baltics. It borders Estonia in the north, Russia in the east, Belarus in the southeast, and Lithuania in the south. From the west and northwest, Latvia is washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea and its Gulf of Riga.
The majority of the population is Latvian (55.1%), whose language belongs to the Baltic group of the Indo-European family. In addition, Russians (32.6%), Belarusians (4%), Ukrainians (2.9%), Poles (2.2%) and others live here. Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgalia, etc.), the specific features of which are manifested primarily in traditional culture. Many elements of everyday life, such as crafts, housing, food, customs and rituals, have retained features that have been formed over the centuries.
As in past centuries, one-yard settlements are typical for modern Latvia. The farm everywhere consists of a residential building (most often it is a log house on a foundation made of wild stone) and outbuildings. But their location on the estate, as well as the layout of the dwelling, varies by region. In the western regions, living quarters were located on both sides of the vestibule, in which a hearth was arranged, and an open one at that. The mouth of the stove, which heated the room, also went out here. They only baked bread in it, but cooked food on an open hearth. The eastern type of dwelling – the Latgalian istaba, close to the Russian and Belarusian huts, has the appearance of two independent log cabins connected by a cold canopy. A stove, similar to the Russian one, is placed in the room.
If the traditional dwelling is still found in some places in the villages, then this cannot be said about folk clothes. Nevertheless, it has not completely disappeared. Dancing Latvia Latvians usually wear it for song festivals, use it in amateur performances. In addition, folk traditions can be traced in the ornaments that adorn modern clothes, in its color scheme. The traditional women’s costume is a long tunic-shaped shirt, a striped or plaid skirt, and a villaine shoulder cape. Local differences are manifested in cut, color and decoration methods. For example, in Vidzeme, shirts are decorated with hemstitch, capes are white, head of the National. costume The Latvian dress for girls is a red wreath embroidered with beads, for married women – a white embroidered cap. In Semigallia, the shirt is decorated with white embroidery, the skirt with a special floral pattern, and the cape with a woven pattern; The headdress is a silk scarf. The Kurzeme costume is distinguished by metal belts, bright blue capes with decorations. The Latgalian costume consists of a shirt with a red pattern, a plaid skirt, a white cape with blue-green embroidery, and a linen shoulder cover. The girls’ headdress is a red beaded wreath, for married women – a towel one.
Men’s Ligo Holiday Latvia native clothes are less diverse. It consists of a shirt, linen or wool pants, caftan, sash. A hat with fields or a cap is put on the head.
The national traditions of Latvians are also preserved in food. It is based on flour, cereal products, the national cuisine of Latvia is dishes from beans and peas. Here they like stews made from cereals (putra) and vegetables (kaposti), porridge, dumplings from peas and beans. On holidays, pies with bacon, cookies, meat dishes are prepared. For example, at Christmas and New Year they bake a pork head with sauerkraut, at Easter they color eggs and cook jelly, on Midsummer’s Day (it is called Ligo in Latvia) – Yanov cheese from cottage cheese. Traditional drinks are rye flour sbiten, beer, birch and maple sap.
Wooden products are widespread. Carvings adorn the backs of chairs and sledges, spinning wheels, roof ridges, pediments and architraves of houses. The works of craftsmen of the Latvian Song Festival are constantly displayed at exhibitions and fairs.
The oral folk art of Latvians is diverse, including fairy tales, legends, anecdotes, riddles, proverbs, short quatrains – dainas. The song folklore is rich. Song festivals have been regularly held here since 1873. The main musical instruments are kokle (a type of harp), smuigas (bagpipe), violin, flute.
The capital of the National Opera House of Latvia, Riga, is located on both banks of the Daugava, at its confluence with the Gulf of Riga. It is the largest industrial and cultural center of the country. Here are all the main states of the State Museum of Art Latvian institutions, enterprises, as well as 9 theaters (including the National Opera), 7 universities, a university, 21 museums (Museum of the History of Latvia, Museum of the History of the City and Navigation, Art Museum, museums of nature, foreign art and etc.).
The first written mention of the city dates back to 1201. In the Middle Ages, being at the junction of land and water routes, it developed as a center of trade and trade. This is evidenced by the names of the streets of Old Riga: Kaleyu (Blacksmith), Audeiu (Weaving), Mutsinieku (Bondarnaya), Aldaru (Pivovarov) and others.
Outstanding monuments of architecture from different eras have been preserved here. Dome Cathedral Riga Latvia Unique architectural and historical values include the Dome Cathedral (founded in 1211), which houses the world-famous organ with a rich sound range (6768 pipes), Peter’s Church with an original 120-meter tower – the central element of the silhouette of Riga, Riga Castle, Powder, or Sandy, Tower, Jan’s Church, etc.
Daugavpils is the second city in terms of population, the largest industrial hub. This is the center of Latgale, located in the eastern part of the country. It arose in 1275 as a fortified city. A significant role in its prosperity is played by an advantageous transport and geographical position.
Liepaja is located in the west of Latvia, in the Kurzeme region, and occupies the narrow Liepaja Latvia, a strip of the Seaside Lowland, stretching from north to south between the Baltic Sea and the coastal lakes Liepajas and Tosmares. Here, in this large center of sea fishing and the fishing industry, 4 there is the base of the ocean fishing fleet, named Ventspils Castle Castle of the Levonian Order. Latvia is also a fishing port. A gently sloping sandy beach stretches along the western part of the city. Ventspils is located on both banks of the Venta, at its confluence with the Baltic Sea. The first mention of it as a fishing village dates back to the 10th century. Until the end of the XVIII century. it was the main port of Kurzeme. Its role as a trading port is great even now. One of the sights of the city is the unique Sea Fishing Museum.
The territory as a whole is flat and has no sharp natural contrasts. Picturesque moraine ridges, dotted with small lakes, alternate with sandy plains and swampy lowlands. These are the Primorsky, East Latvian, Central Latvian lowlands, the Luban plain and the sandy Vents-Usmenskaya depression, which is bordered by the Kurzeme Upland from the west, north and east. The Latgale and Augshzem uplands occupy the eastern part of the country. Numerous rivers (the main one is the Daugava) and lakes give the landscape a special charm. The climate is transitional from maritime to horse New Year in Jurmala Latviyatinental.
From the thirteenth to the middle of the sixteenth century the territory of Latvia was part of Livonia, which was under German rule. In the middle of the XVI century. included in the Commonwealth, and in 1795 – in Russia. In December 1918 the Government of the RSFSR recognized the independence of Latvia. At the beginning of 1920, the independent Republic of Latvia was formed. In 1934 a coup d’état was carried out. In 1940, the Latvian SSR was formed, which became part of the USSR. In May 1990, a decision was made on a new name – the Catholic Republic of Latvia, as well as the Declaration of Independence. In September 1991, the USSR recognized the independence of Latvia.
Believers are mostly Protestants (Lutherans). According to official figures, there are 491 thousand of them. The population of Latgale is predominantly Catholic.
In a pine forest on the shores of Lake Jugla in Riga, there is an open-air museum founded in 1924. Traditional rural estates are located here, reflecting the life and material culture of various historical and ethnographic regions of Latvia. The buildings and interior decoration are reproduced in accordance with the domestic environment of the 17th-19th centuries. On the territory of the museum concerts of ethnographic ensembles, theater Suburb Jurmalaized performances, fairs of products of folk craftsmen are organized. This is one of those places in the country where they try to preserve the historical past. The natural wealth of Latvia is protected in a number of nature reserves. Among them are Morits-sala, Grini, Slitere – in western Latvia, Krustkalny and Teichi – in the East Latvian lowland. The system of objects of state nature protection also includes reserves of a very different nature: botanical,
Latvia is a democratic parliamentary republic. In 1993, the operation of the constitution, adopted in 1922 and suspended in 1934, was renewed. The head of state is the president. The legislative body is the Saeim (unicameral parliament). Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet of Ministers headed by the President. The government formed in 1997 is coalition. It included representatives of the following political associations: “For the Fatherland and Freedom” (Movement for the National Independence of Latvia), “Latvian Way”, the Latvian Peasants’ Union / Union of Christian Democrats, the Latvian Green Party, the National Reform Party. The country is administratively divided into 26 districts.
10 REASONS TO COME TO LATVIA
- Medieval history and fabulous architecture.
Old Riga – medieval houses, cathedrals of the 12th-16th centuries, squares where they executed or pardoned, suppressed riots, you won’t even notice how you immerse yourself in the sweet atmosphere of the Middle Ages, however, you have already seen a lot… in the cinema: D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers, midshipmen, the knight Ivanhoe, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and finally Stirlitz and the unfortunate Professor Pleishner – all “visited” these places. And here is the center – intricately decorated buildings of the early 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. Outside the city, real castles of German barons, palaces built for Russian tsars and their entourage – now many of them have been turned into cozy hotels where you can relax in the quiet of shady parks, have fun hunting, fishing, horseback riding.
Half an hour from Riga and you are in Jurmala – the largest and most famous resort in the Baltics. Jurmala is always hospitable and affectionate. The sea, the sun and pines, the purest air saturated with ions and pine aroma! A sandy beach 32 kilometers long, over which the Blue Flag of the European Union flies, certifying the purity of the water, the beach and the high level of infrastructure development. Jurmala is famous for its pleasant temperate climate, it is a resort that absolutely does not require acclimatization!
- Rich cultural life.
Once upon a time, everyone who came to Latvia considered it obligatory to listen to the magnificent organ of the Dome Cathedral, an excellent tradition that deserves to be continued! Riga also has a wonderful Opera House, a Russian drama theater with more than a century of history, opera and ballet festivals and folklore holidays are held here. Latvia was the host of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Jurmala every year there is a competition for young performers “New Wave”, the festival “Voicing Kivin”.
- Full range of entertainment at affordable prices.
Traveling on a yacht, flying in a hot air balloon, bowling, golf, paintball – everything that is not possible in everyday life in Latvia is easily accessible and very inexpensive.
- Delicious food.
The famous Lido, Irish and English pubs, restaurants and cafes of almost any national cuisine for all tastes and budget sizes, there are many cute cafes and zucchini outside the city. Be sure to try the famous smoked chicken, fish of all varieties and types of preparation, cumin cheese, fragrant rye bread, fresh home-made beer, smoked meats, and for friends, grab Riga Balsam and Laima chocolates. Everything is very tasty and inexpensive!
- Pure nature.
Most of the country’s territory is occupied by forests. The proximity of the sea, low population density, lack of large industries have made Latvia a clean and well-groomed corner of Europe. Take the time to get out of the city – rural houses with all modern amenities, fresh air and deafening silence are at your service. Feel the joy of solitude and merging with nature.
- Fine souvenirs.
From amber, wood, glass and metal. Visit the Ethnographic Museum, where there are numerous exhibitions and sales of products made from amber, wool, linen, clay, silver, or go to one of the many art salons. We foresee your surprise and delight – it turns out that you can make from amber, wood, glass, metal, but you can also buy all this, for example, amazing author’s jewelry made in a single copy. The prices for such products will also be a pleasant surprise.
- Vibrant nightlife.
Sparkling night Riga is at your feet. Crowds walking through the streets of the Old City, open doors of restaurants and cafes, and the sounds of live music are everywhere. At midnight – life is just beginning!
- Latvia is very close.
One night by train, or two hours by plane. You can also come by comfortable bus or by car.
- We speak Russian 🙂
In Latvia, you do not have to look for shops and cafes with a sign “we speak Russian”, just come in and ask, you will always be welcome!
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS – LATVIA
Embassy of Latvia in Minsk
Address: Minsk, st. Doroshevicha 6a
Phone: + 375 17 211 3033 Fax: +375 17 284 74 94
ATTENTION! PERSONAL PRESENCE IS OBLIGATORY FOR SENDING BIOMETRIC DATA!
(except for children under 12 years of age and those persons who have already submitted biometric data in one of the consular offices of the Schengen countries over the past 59 months. However, representatives of the consular services have the authority to call these persons additionally in case of any questions)
- Passport / international passport for citizens of the Russian Federation, not older than 10 years and valid for 3 months from the end date of the tour. There must be at least 2 free pages with the inscription “Visas”. For citizens of the Russian Federation: a copy of the residence permit and the original.
- Copy of passport:photocopies of pages of all pages containing personal information; registration, visas, etc.
- Two photos(3.5*4.5 cm, color, on a light background, not older than 6 months).
- Insurance. The minimum amount of insurance coverage is 30,000 euros. Only printed insurances are accepted! Important: in the corridor, 15 days must be added to the end date of the tour (example: tour for 20 days from 01.01 to 20.01: insure for 20 days from 01.01 to 04.02, while the cost of the insurance fee does not increase).
- Confirmation of employment:
5.1. For employees: a certificate on company letterhead (indicates the date of employment, qualifications, wages with a breakdown for the last 3 months). It is possible to confirm that the employee goes on paid leave during the trip and retains his place of work.
5.2. For individual entrepreneurs: certificate of state registration and last tax payments, as well as a certificate that there is no debt for the last 3 months, a bank statement (minimum available balance of 1000-1100 euros).
- For pensioners:a copy of the pension certificate; certificate of received pension (decryption for the last 3 months); as well as an extract from a bank account or a guarantee (sponsorship letter; a copy of the sponsor’s passport; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For students (full-time education):certificate from the dean’s office; copy of student card; in the absence of own income: documents of the sponsoring person ( sponsorship letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For students:certificate from the place of study; documents of the sponsoring person (sponsor letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For the unemployed:a copy of the first and last pages of the work book or a copy of the diploma (if the applicant graduated from an educational institution no more than 6 months ago); statement of account; in the absence of own income ─ documents of the sponsoring person (sponsorship letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For minors:birth certificate (copy and original). If the child is traveling with one of the parents ─ notarized permission from the other parent. If the child is traveling accompanied by a third person, the parents shall notarize the consent to the departure of the child in favor of this person. The permit must cover the entire intended period of stay, including also an additional period of 15 days (for example, a tour from 01.01 to 20.01: dates from 01.01 to 04.02 are indicated). Copies of parents’ passports.
- The cost of a visa is 35 euros, for citizens of the Russian Federation – 35 euros. Children up to 11 years old (inclusive) ─ free of charge.
The Embassy has established the following requirements for the applicant ‘s monthly income : at least 520 Belarusian rubles. If the applicant provides only a bank statement, then the available balance must confirm the availability of funds at the rate of 65 euros per day for each person (including minors).