LatviaLatvia, officially called the Republic of Latvia, is a democratic republic and one of the Baltic states in northern Europe. It is bordered by Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, Russia in the east, Sweden in the west, and Belarus in the southeast. In 2017, it had an estimated population of 1.95 million people, most of who are indigenous.
The country has an area of roughly 24,900 square miles. The capital is Riga, which is the most populated city in the country, and the official language is Latvian, one of the only two surviving Baltic languages. Throughout history, Latvia has been ruled by the Polish, Swedish and Russians, and it first gained independence form Russia in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. It was, however, short-lived, and in 1991, Latvia finally regained its freedom. Having been invaded by so many empires that left their footprints across the country, Latvia has several cultural layers to it.
The influences from its previous rulers is also evident in Latvia’s traditional arts, crafts and handiwork. One of the major attractions of Latvia is its pristine nature and green landscapes that are both rich and diverse. Latvia is one of the greenest countries on the planet, and it also has one of the rarest ecosystems that remains untouched and unspoiled. Tourists often enjoy trekking, hiking and cycling across the myriad of lakes, rivers, forests, plains, meadows, groves and gardens in the Latvian countryside. Visitors will also find plenty of wolves, lynxes, otters and beavers in these areas.
The only real city in Latvia is the cosmopolitan and cultural capital, Riga, which is the busiest and liveliest part of Latvia. Riga’s infrastructure and architecture share over 800 years of history. There are various Gothic cathedrals and over 800 Art Nouveau buildings in the city, making it the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. The Riga Central Market, one of the largest bazaars in Eruope, has been included in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The city of Sigulda, an hour’s drive from Riga, is also a top favorite destination among tourists for skiing and bobsledding. Other regions outside Riga also have a lot to offer tourists. One of the most interesting aspect about them is that they all have their own set of traditions, dialects and even cuisines. Latvia is also immensely popular for its white-sand beaches across its 300-mile coastline, and their breathtaking sunsets.
There are plenty of hotels, resorts and restaurants lining these vibrant beaches, which also host concerts and several other cultural events. Latvians continue to follow ancestral traditions that have been embedded in their folklore, including the Jani holiday and Song and Dance festivals. Latvians love to sing, and for admirers of music and performing arts, Riga and Sigulda have several opera festivals and various concerts. In a highly urbanized continent such as Europe, Latvia remains one of the few counties where nature has been developing at its own pace with minimal human intervention. For nature lovers, there could be no better treat. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latviahttp://www.ducksters.com/geography/country.php?country=Latviahttps://www.lonelyplanet.com/latviahttp://www.latvia.eu/natural-attractionshttp://www.latvia.travel/en/article/culturehttp://www.latvia.travel/en/article/top-10-attractions-latviahttp://www.latvia.travel/en/article/interesting-facts-about-latvia