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About Latvia

Wiki Latvia

Welcome to Latvia!
Latvia
is neither very large nor very small. It's a country cozily nestled between Estonia and Lithuania on the shore of the Baltic Sea, also known as the Amber Sea. The territory of Latvia (24,900 square miles) is inhabited by over 2.5 million people. Latvian language is one of the most ancient European Languages. Together with Lithuanian, Latvian forms the Baltic branch of the Indo-European group of languages. Although Latvia occupies only a small territory, the variety of its nature is large. This is determined by its geographical location, the history of its development and the local characteristics.

You won't see smoking volcanoes or geysers, cloud-covered mountain tops or boundless plains in Latvia. However, Latvia will surprise you with other generous gifts of Mother Nature. Tree-covered hills alternate with grain-fields and pastures of the flatlands and massive forests. Along picturesque riverbanks the uncovered basic strata form cliffs and crags in which the water has carved caves. Numerous lakes sparkle at the bottom of hills. The forests and waters are full of wildlife.

Riga, announces itself with a unique and fantastically beautiful silhouette which is sometimes reflected in the Daugava, the largest river of Latvia, but sometimes secretively disappears in the fog. In 2001 Old Riga celebrated its 800th birthday. The Old Town is the most ancient part of Riga and it is also the beginning of Riga -- with the first local inhabitant log building in the 11th century and the first German newcomer stone building in the 13th century. Over the time with much of the old disappearing and the new replacing it, the Old Town has become a part of the modern city where evidence of various centuries alternates in the streets.

In sum, Latvia is one of Europe's great "get away from it all" discoveries. With 12,310 rivers and 3,000 lakes the country has many opportunities for boating and walking and just enjoying the outdoors. There are many small medieval towns, country castles, museums and folk parks to be visited.

Latvia has not yet adopted the euro as its currency and there is no definite date to do so. It continues to use the Lat (LVL) as its currency.

The Internet is the best source of information for tourists to Latvia, and the following is a sampling of sites that could be of interest for travelers to Latvia. The sites with general information on Latvia and Riga include details on information regarding transportation, places to visit, dining, as well as upcoming events

General Information and Accommodations

Latvian Institute
http://www.latinst.lv
Latvian Culture Vortal
http://www.kultura.lv
Riga This Week
http://www.rigathisweek.lv
InYour Pocket
http://www.inyourpocket.com (includes Riga and other cities in Latvia)
Hotels in Latvia
http://www.allhotels.lv
Accomodation
http://www.balticsww.com/tourist/latvia/hotels.htm
Country Holidays
http://www.country.holidays.lv
Welcome to Latvia
http://www.lv/
Cultural Events in 2006
http://www.am.gov.lv/en/latvia/culture-events-2006/
EUROPE a never-ending journey
http://www.visiteurope.com
Museums, Castles and Manors

Latvian Museum Association
http://www.muzeji.lv
Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
http://www.occupationmuseum.lv
Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation
http://www.vip.latnet.lv/museums/Riga/
State Museum of Art  http://www.vmm.lv

Rundale Castle Museum  http://www.rpm.apollo.lv/index.htm

Latvian Castles, Palaces and Manors  www.pilis.lv

Riga Gallery  http://www.riga-gallery.com


Riga is responsible for about half of the total industrial output of Latvia, focusing on the financial sector, public utilities, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, wood processing, printing and publishing, textiles and furniture, and communications equipment manufacturing. More than 50 percent of Latvian companies are registered in Riga region.
The port of Riga is an important cargo shipping centre. It is the principal all-weather port in the Baltic and is expected to grow in the next few years due to increased trade with other former Soviet states and China.

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