Where is Riga?

Church steeples are numerous along the Daugava River
I've had a couple people ask me where in the world are you now? So I thought I'd get down to basics this week and show you a bit about the city of Riga.

Riga is the capital of the country of Latvia - one of the three Baltic countries. It's in between the other two Baltic States of Estonia and Lithuania, all of which border Russia.

To the west of Latvia is the Baltic Sea which is located between the Baltic States, Sweden and Finland. The Daugava River (which is a block from our flat) empties into the Gulf of Riga and out into the Baltic Sea. As a result, Riga's port is very important to the economy of the country of Latvia.

The history of Riga goes back to the early Middle Ages. The Vikings traded with the people who lived along the Daugava River, establishing the first village on the site of Riga today.

St. Peter's Lutheran Church.

When we first visited Riga, we were amazed by the number of large, old churches that we saw. Notice all of the steeples in the top picture. Riga was one of the first cities to adopt the new Lutheran faith in 1522 shortly after Martin Luther left the Catholic Church. Two of the three tallest steeples in the picture above are Lutheran churches. Lutheranism is very strong in the entire country of Latvia.
Section of ancient wall

We live in the old section of Riga. It's the part that was included in the original walled city back in the 16th Century. Because of that, we walk on cobblestones, dating back who knows how far. Paved entirely in cobblestones, it's fun to explore the nooks and crannies of this old part of town.

Iconic building in Old Riga
 Today Old Riga is a very popular tourist spot for anyone interested in history. It's a great place to visit to see historical buildings. But Riga is much larger than the old city center.

Riga Public Library

Bridge over the river near our house

A modern city has grown up around Old Riga. We haven't explored much of that part of the city yet. We did find the IKEA store, however.

We'll have a chance to explore more of the city when it warms up here. We have lots of time for that later.


  1. Be sure to explore the mittens of Latvia. Each region is known for their own colors and designs. The history of how the mittens were used in folk traditions is fascinating. Enjoy your time in Riga. - Deby

    1. I'll need a guest writer for that post since I don't know anything about Latvian mitten culture!


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