Latvia's History

Latvia has been inhabited since the last Ice Age ended in 9000BC. Settled by Baltic tribes they maintained trade links far and wide, with Latvia’s amber a prized trading commodity. Latvia together with Estonia and Lithuania remained the last pagan region of Europe and finally embraced Christianity in the 12th Century. During Medieval times a German aristocracy ruled, maintaining their influence until WWII. Poland ruled much of Latvia from 1561 and in 1721 Latvia passed into Russian hands which lasted until 1918 when Latvia gained independence. In 1940 Latvia yielded to the Red Army and was incorporated into the USSR. Germany’s 1941 invasion was welcomed by most Latvians so the return of the Red Army in 1944 saw the deportation of thousands to Siberia and the suppression of Latvian culture. Latvia celebrated the fall of Communism and again became independent in 1991, joining NATO and the European Union in 2004.

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Make sure you leave Riga and discover the amazing Latvian countryside and natural beauty, soaked in history and legend. This tour will showcase the best of Latvia including the weird Hill of Crosses. European Country more info

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Latvia had some difficulty recovering from Communism but its economy blossomed into growth from 2000 but by 2008 came to a sudden halt, now feeling the full force of economic contraction in Europe. Latvia cut ties with Eastern Europe and joined NATO and the European Union in 2004. Despite current problems the Medieval towns and cities of Latvia together with picturesque country scenery and outdoor attractions prove popular drawcards for international visitors. The pulsating night life of Riga never stops and the locals know how to have a good time. Winters bring a different type of beauty and plenty of opportunities for snow sports and fun.

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