The Republic of Latvia was established as a
parliamentary democracy in 1918. On August 21 1991 its de facto independence
was recognized. Thus, Latvia proclaimed itself and in fact became a fully
Since the restoration of independence in 1991,
Latvia has been pursuing full economic and political integration into
European and world structures.
Moving into its second decade of renewed
independence, Latvia looks forward to an increasingly prominent role in the
new Europe. By working together with the EU and NATO, Latvia is helping
shape the 21st century. Latvia today is renewing the old, creating the new
and proudly displaying a revitalized national presence on the European
scene. The rest of the world is rediscovering Latvia as well. It is
discovering a country that has been a sovereign state since 1918, but has
had a national state of mind for centuries. Latvia is actively developing
its prominent new role in a rapidly globalizing world community. Geography:
Latvia is located in North-Eastern Europe, on the East coast of the Baltic
Sea. The landscape of the country is marked by lowland plains and rolling
hills. Most of the countryside is less than 100 meters above sea level.
Latvia is a country of splendid and diverse
natural landscapes. Forests cover 44% of the territory. There are parts
where it is still possible to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of nature
untouched by man. Latvia distinguishes itself with a large variety of flora
and fauna – the total is around 27.7 thousand species. Latvia's fauna is
typical for a region with mixed forests. Latvia has the largest otter
population in Europe, and there is a much greater chance of seeing the rare
black stork in Latvia's forests than in any other European country.
Traditionally, Latvia is seen as a tiny country with a population of about
2.058 million, quite deserving this designation. On the other hand,
geographically Latvia encompasses 64,589 square kilometers, a size
surpassing that of better-known European states such as Belgium, the
Netherlands, Switzerland, and Denmark..........
Latvia has a
typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and
fairly severe winters. January is the coldest month with daytime
-5°C, but in some cases winter months can be quite colder with temperatures
far below zero, about -20°C or lower and strong,.........
Latvian culture has a strong influence of the Latvian folklore and the
people of the country, of how attached they are to their homeland. Many
Christian rituals are intertwined with ancient customs. Pagan symbols, which
are geometric, are still seen throughout the applied arts..........
Latvia had been inhabited by ancient peoples of
unknown origin since 9000 BC, but by 3,000 BC the ancestors of the Finns had
settled the region. A millennium later, pre-Baltic tribes had arrived and
within time evolved into the Baltic Couranian, Latgallian, Selonian, and