Riga, Latvia

Riga, situated on a sandy plain about 9 miles from the mouth of the River Dvina, is the capital of Latvia and is one of the most beautiful of the Baltic cities. The advantageous geographical position, with access to both the sea and via the river to the east, shaped both the history and culture of the city. Founded in the 12th century, it was established as a trading settlement and grew quickly into an important port with a remarkable diversity of Gothic, Baroque Renaissance and Classical architectural styles. Today, the capital city is a major tourist attraction while remaining one of the principal ports in the Baltic and a top producer of manufactured goods.