Latvia is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church. Riga’s museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food, and music.
Latvia is generally a very flat country of low-lying plains, largely covered by forest. There are some low hills in the west and far southeast. A few high hills are found to the east of Riga, with the highest point being the Gaizinkalns at 311.6 m (1,022 ft). Small lakes and swamps dot the countryside.
Key cities in Lativa include: Riga, Daugavpils, Liepaja, Jelgava, Jurmala, Ventspils, Rezekne, Jekabpils, Valmiera, and Ogre.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
The history of Latvia began around 9000 BC with the end of the last glacial period in northern Europe. Ancient Baltic peoples arrived in the area during the second millennium BC, and four distinct tribal realms in Latvia’s territory were identifiable towards the end of the first millennium AD.
The culture in Latvia has a strong influence by Latvian folklore and by the people of the country and how attached they are to their homeland. Latvians have the rich heritage of traditional folklore, especially folk songs.
Brief Country History
The earliest people in Latvia were stone age hunters and gatherers who arrived there after the last ice age about 9000 BC. However, the ancestors of today’s Latvians were Baltic tribes who migrated to the area about 2,000 BC.
In the 12th century AD, some of the last pagans in Europe lived in Latvia. The Pope decided to convert them to Christianity – by force! In 1201 he sent German crusaders commanded by Bishop Albert von Buxhoeveden of Bremen. The crusaders sailed into what is now the Gulf of Riga. They landed at a fishing village on the site of Riga and built a fortified settlement there. So, Riga became the capital of Latvia.
From their base in Latvia, the Germans marched inland and took the land from the native people. The Germans formed themselves into a quasi-monastic order called the Brotherhood of the Sword. They called the Baltic region Livonia. In 1237 the Brotherhood of the Sword merged with another German Order, the Teutonic Knights and called themselves the Livonian Order.
The Germans made themselves a feudal ruling class in Latvia. The Latvians were made second-class citizens. However, the Germans also founded a number of towns in Latvia including Riga, Cesis, Ventspils and Kuldiga. In 1282 Riga joined the Hanseatic League. (That was a federation of cities in Germany and the Baltic, which controlled trade in northern Europe). Valmiera joined the Hanseatic League in 1365.
In 2002 Latvia won the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2003 the competition was held in Riga. In 2004 Latvia joined NATO and the EU. Latvia suffered badly in the recession of 2009. However, Latvia recovered and became prosperous. In 2014 Latvia joined the euro. Also in 2014 Riga became the European Capital of Culture. Today the population of Latvia is 2 million.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Latvian is the dominant language as well as the official language of Latvia. Latgalian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian are also spoken.
Important Types of Commerce in Latvia
Latvia’s industrial base has centered mainly on heavy industries such as chemicals and petrochemicals, metalworking, and machine building. Major manufactured items include railway carriages, buses, mopeds, washing machines, radios, electronics, and telephone systems.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Latvia
Dealing with Latvian authorities would require an individual or business to speak Latvian and have no other common language with the authority, you are sometimes entitled to interpreting services. To start a company in Latvia regardless of your nationality. It is important that you have a right of residence in Latvia, the necessary professional skills, and sufficient Latvian language skills. This is where professional translation and interpretation services come into the picture. The task of the interpreter is to interpret the discussion between you and the authority. The interpreter will not handle any tasks other than interpretation.
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