Category Archives: Latvia

Intrinsic Riga

Even though KGB members are not actively walking the streets of Riga, backpackers can contemplate architectonic aspects of different occupations in Latvia. Soviet era street cars lead people through a time warp of small wooden buildings, large Stalin inspired towers, Khrushchev-esque block apartments, and Parisian style art nouvea.

Riga, Latvia

Riga is a great place to visit. Being a Minnesota Vikings fan, I might as well point out that the Daugava River which runs through Riga has been a trade route since the Vikings navigated to Byzantium. Historically, Riga has plenty of stories to tell. (continued below gallery)

Most recent, during World War II, Latvia was occupied by the Soviets and then by the Nazis in 1941-1944. Latvian Jews were forced into ghettos and concentration camps.

In 1945 Latvia was once again occupied by Stalin’s Red Army. Latvia then lost approximately one-third of her population because of forced industrialization and deliberate large-scale immigration of non-Latvians from other Soviet republics into Riga. Latvia formally joined the United Nations as an independent country on September 17, 1991.

Riga is an awesome city to backpack, very friendly people and superb food. Old town is the main area to see, it contains several gothic churches, the Occupation Museum, and also the Freedom Monument.