Jūrmala is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometres west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River, it has a 33 km stretch of white-sand beach, a population of 56,646, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia. While Latvia was part of the Soviet Union, Jūrmala was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. Although it has many amenities such as beach-houses and concrete hotels remain, some have fallen into disrepair. Jūrmala remains a tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in the Art Nouveau style; the name Jūrmala stems from Latvian "jūra" and "mala", thus seaside in English. In 1920, soon after Latvian independence, the town of Rīgas Jūrmala was established. In German it became known as Rigasche Strand and Riga-Strand, advertised as part of Baltische Riviera During World War II, Jūrmala lost its autonomy and by 1946 it was a district of Riga.
In 1949 this district was enlarged to include Priedaine. In 1959 the district of Jūrmala was removed from the city of Riga and merged with the health resorts Sloka and Ķemeri to establish Jūrmalas pilsēta. In publications dating from the Soviet period, the city name was spelled in English as Yurmala, a back-transliteration from Russian Юрмала; as a result of the administrative territorial reform of Latvia in 2009, Jūrmala became one of the republican cities of Latvia, is the fifth largest by population. The city of Jūrmala consists of a string of small resorts. From west to east, these include Ķemeri, Jaunķemeri, Kauguri, Asari, Melluži, Jaundubulti, Majori, Dzintari and Lielupe. Jūrmala's reputation as a spa destination began in the late early 19th centuries. Wealthy landowners began the tradition of relaxing at the seaside, Russian army officers came here to rest after the Napoleonic Wars, returning with their families; the peak of the Jūrmala area's development was the opening of the Riga - Tukums railway in 1877 that gave a great boost to the numbers of visitors, thus a boost to the development of the town as a resort.
Jūrmala gained a reputation as a health spa. The sea breeze, pine aroma, mineral springs, sandy beach encouraged many sanatoriums to develop within the city. In Soviet times Jūrmala was popular with the Communist officials because of its beach and sanatoriums - holidays were given as rewards for top union members, it became one of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole Union. The spas offered facilities from mud baths to riding hiking in the woods. In summer there are many concerts. Whereas Riga has advanced to embrace and cater for growing numbers of Western tourists, Jūrmala has lagged behind. Russians are now subject to strict visa requirements and its beaches have yet to attract significant numbers of Europeans, leaving the tourist industry with a hard task on its hands. However, during the past few years, Jūrmala has started to recover. Many Russian celebrities, successful businessmen and others have been buying houses near the beach, lots of different festivals and other activities have brought more and more people to the town each summer.
At the moment, Jūrmala has achieved the popularity that it experienced by the Soviet elite. The main beach at Majori and another at Bulduri now bear blue eco-flags signalling the sea is clean and safe to swim in, the Latvian Academy of Science boasts a hotel for its members in the town. There is the Midsummer Festival in June, celebrating the longest day of the year. The'Jaunais Vilnis' New Wave music festival showcases the latest music from all over Europe; the Lonely Planet guide to the region states. The most distinguishing architectural feature in Jūrmala is the prevalence of wooden houses dating from the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Most of the buildings were built by Baltic German and Latvian architects, but there are works of Russian and other architects. Jūrmala's architecture falls into classicism, national romanticism, modern styles; the town has an official list of 414 historical buildings under protection, as well as over 4,000 wooden structures.. The Dubulti Station is an example of sculptural concrete shell Modernist architecture.
Jūrmala's beach is 33 km long, covered with white quartz sand. The shallow coastal waters are safe for children; the beach is equipped with playgrounds, small benches, football fields and volleyball courts, as well as descents for prams and wheelchairs. In Spring and Autumn amber pieces can be found on the beach; each region's beach has its own character. In Majori and Bulduri, where the Blue Flag flies, it is possible to rent water bicycles or relax in the beach cafe. In Dubulti and Dzintari competitions in beach football and volleyball take place, but on Pumpuri beach there is kite surfing and windsurfing. International water sports contests, including rowing and waterskiing that take place on the river Lielupe. Livu Akvaparks in Jūrmala is one of the largest wet amusement parks in Northern Europe; the 3 floors of Līvu Akvaparks includes more than 20 different slides, more than 10 pools of various depths and sizes, attractions for children, SPA complex with 4 saunas, cold pool, salt chamber, bubble baths and air and underwater massage facilities
Amata Municipality is a municipality in Vidzeme, Latvia. The municipality was formed in 2000 by merging Amata parish and Drabeši parish, but in 2009 it absorbed Nītaure parish, Skujene parish and Zaube parish, too the administrative centre being Drabeši. Administrative divisions of Latvia
Administrative divisions of Latvia
Administrative divisions of Latvia. According to the Administrative territorial reform of Latvia, Latvia changed its administrative divisions from two-level municipalities to one-level municipalities - districts were liquidated, while towns/cities, town's countryside territories and parishes were merged into 110 municipalities, with 9 metropolitan areas got the status of republican cities. With their own city council and administration. Municipalities are subdivided into territorial units: municipality towns. Administrative divisions of Latvia before 2009 Cultural regions of Latvia Districts of Latvia List of cities and towns in Latvia List of former cities of Latvia Planning regions of Latvia Statistical regions of Latvia ISO 3166-2:LV Administratīvo teritoriju un apdzīvoto vietu likums Population in novads The Ministry of Regional Development and Municipalities of Latvia
Jelgava is a city in central Latvia about 41 kilometres southwest of Riga with about 63,000 inhabitants. It is the largest town in the region of Zemgale. Jelgava was the capital of the united Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and the administrative center of the Courland Governorate. Jelgava is situated on a fertile plain rising only 3.5 metres above mean sea level on the right bank of the river Lielupe. At high water the plain and sometimes the town as well can be flooded, it is a railway center and is host to Jelgava Air Base. Its importance as a railway centre can be seen by the fact that it lies at the junction of over 6 railway lines connecting Riga to Lithuania and western Latvia, Lithuania to the Baltic sea; until 1917, the city was referred to as Mitau. The name Jelgava is believed to be derived from the Livonian word jālgab, meaning "town on the river." The origin of the German name Mitau is unclear, although it is suggested that it came from the Latvian words mīt or mainīt, meaning "to exchange" or "to trade," thus making it "trading-place."
An alternate explanation is that Mitau came from Mitte in der Aue, German for "the middle of the Aa", referring to the Lielupe River known as the Courland Aa. Jelgava before the Second World War had regular, broad streets lined with the mansions of the Baltic German nobility who resided at the former capital of Courland; the old castle of the dukes of Courland, situated on an island in the river, was destroyed by Duke Biren, who had a spacious palace erected by Bartolomeo Rastrelli at the bridge across the Lielupe. The palace contains the sarcophagi of all of the Curonian dukes, except the last one; the future Louis XVIII sojourned in the palace between 1798 and 1800. It now functions as Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies. Other landmarks include the Baroque church of St. Anne, the tower of the destroyed Trinity church, two handsome structures: the Villa Medem and the Academia Petrina; the Livonian settlement Jelgava began developing between the rivers Lielupe and Driksa during the 10th century.
Led by the Grand Master Konrad von Mander, the crusading Livonian Order constructed the castle in Mitau on a natural island fortification in 1265–1266. Using Mitau as a southern fortress, the German knights subdued the surrounding Livonians and Semigallians by 1290; the town rose in importance as a defensive fixture against the Lithuanians to the south, who succeeded in plundering Jelgava in 1345. As a result of the fall of the Livonian Order in the Livonian War, Mitau became a town of the Duchy of Courland in 1561. Jelgava received city rights in 1573, became the capital of the united duchies of Courland and Semigallia in 1578; when the Duchy of Courland split in 1596, Jelgava became the residence of Duke Friedrich Kettler of Semigallia. The city again became the capital of the united duchies in 1617; because the duchy became a vassal of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jelgava was referred to by the Polish name Mitawa. The Commonwealth's repeated wars with Sweden subjected Jelgava to several sieges.
Despite the wars, the city grew as a center for industry. As Courland's neighbors increased in strength, the duchy and Jelgava began to fall under Russia's sphere of influence; the duchess from 1711 to 1730 was Anna Ivanovna Empress Anna I of Russia. The penultimate duke of Courland, Ernst Johann von Biron, expanded the cultural aspects of Jelgava, he opened the first public library in the city. In 1775 the last Duke of Courland, Peter von Biron, founded the Academia Petrina, which became a cultural center for the country; the duke encouraged theatrical performances at his court. With the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, the citizens of Jelgava clamored for more rights. However, Imperial Russia annexed the city with Courland in 1795 during the Partitions of Poland; as the seat of the Count of Provence, the palace of Jelgava was the residence of Louis XVIII before he became the French king. Although the city was occupied by Prussian troops during the Napoleonic Wars, it was spared destruction.
Jelgava further expanded after the construction of its railway in 1868. The development of its infrastructure encouraged rural Latvians to migrate to the city, as merchants, craftsmen and officials. By 1914 Jelgava had over 45,000 inhabitants. However, Jelgava suffered after the outbreak of World War I; the spirited defence of Jelgava by two battalions of the Latvian Home Guard in 1915, helped inspire the formation of the Latvian Rifles. German troops occupied the city during the war, British prisoners of war, sent there as forced labour, suffered atrocious conditions and treatment. After the war, in 1919, Jelgava became a battleground between Bolshevik Red Guards, German paramilitaries, Latvian freedom fighters. After the latter's victory in November of 1919, Jelgava became an important city in independent Latvia. In 1925 a sugar factory was built in the first such factory in Latvia. In 1939 Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies was opened in Jelgava Palace; as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Jelgava was occupied and annexed with the rest of Latvia by the Soviet Union in 1940 during World War II.
Much of the city's remaining German population were resettled into the territory of German occupied Poland during the Nazi–Soviet population transfers. German forces from Army Group North occupied Jelgava from 1941 to 1944 until the capture of the city
Liepāja is a city in western Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region and the third largest city in the country after Riga and Daugavpils, it is an important ice-free port. In 2017 population of Liepāja is 69,443 people. In the 19th and early 20th century it was a favourite place for sea-bathers with the town boasting a fine park and many pretty gardens, a theatre. Liepāja is however known throughout Latvia as "City where the wind is born" because of the constant sea breeze. A song of the same name has become the anthem of the city, its reputation as the windiest city in Latvia was strengthened with the construction of the largest wind farm in the nation nearby. The coat of arms of Liepāja was adopted four days after the jurisdiction gained city rights on 18 March 1625; these are described as: "on a silver background, the lion of Courland with a divided tail, who leans upon a linden tree with its forelegs". The flag of Liepāja has the coat of arms in the center, with red in the top half and green in the bottom.
It is said that the first settlement at the location of modern Liepāja was known by the name Līva from the name of the river Līva on which Liepāja was located. The name was derived from the Livonian word Liiv meaning "sand"; the oldest written text mentioning Līva village is the treaty of bishop of Courland and the master of the Livonian Order dated 4 April 1253. In 1263, the Teutonic Order established a town; the Latvian name Liepāja was mentioned for the first time in 1649 by Paul Einhorn in his work Historia Lettica. A Russian name from the time of the Russian Empire was Либава or Либау, although Лиепая, a transliteration of Liepāja has been used since World War II; some other names for the city include Liepoja in Lithuanian, Lipawa in Polish and ליבאַװע in Yiddish. It is said that the original settlement at the location of modern Liepāja was founded by Curonian fishermen from Piemare as Līva, but Henry of Livonia, in his famous Chronicle, makes no mention of the settlement; the Teutonic Order established a town which they called Libau here in 1263, followed by Mitau two years later.
In 1418 the village was burned by the Lithuanians. During the 15th century, a part of the trade route from Amsterdam to Moscow passed through Līva, where it was known as the "white road to Lyva portus". By 1520 the river Līva had become too shallow for easy navigation, development of the city declined. In 1560, Gotthard Kettler loaned all the Grobiņa district, including Libau, to Albert, Duke of Prussia for 50,000 guldens. Only in 1609 after the marriage of Sofie Hohenzollern, Princess of Prussia, to Wilhelm Kettler did the territory return to the Duchy. During the Livonian War, Libau was burnt by the Swedes. In 1625, Duke Friedrich Kettler of Courland granted the town city rights, which were affirmed by King Sigismund III of Poland in 1626, although under what legal authority Sigismund had is debatable. Under Duke Jacob Kettler, Libau became one of the main ports of Courland as it reached the height of its prosperity. In 1637 Couronian colonization was started from the ports of Ventspils. Kettler was an eager proponent of mercantilist ideas.
Metalworking and ship building became much more developed, trading relations developed not only with nearby countries, but with Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal. In 1697–1703 a canal was cut to the sea and a more modern port was built. In 1701, during the Great Northern War, Libau was captured by Charles XII of Sweden, but by the end of the war, the city had returned to titular Polish possession. In 1710 an epidemic of plague killed about a third of the population. In 1780 the first Freemasonry lodge, "Libanons," was established by Provincial Grand Master Ivan Yelagin on behalf of the Provincial Lodge of Russia. Courland passed to the control of the Russian Empire in 1795 during the third Partition of Poland and was organized as the Courland Governorate of Russia. Growth during the nineteenth century was rapid. During the Crimean War, when the British Royal Navy was blockading Russian Baltic ports, the busy yet still unfortified port of Libau was captured on 17 May 1854 without a shot being fired, by a landing party of 110 men from HMS Conflict and HMS Amphion.
In 1857 an Imperial Decree provided for a new railway to Libau, the same year the engineer Jan Heidatel developed a project to reconstruct the port. In 1861–1868 the project was realized – including the building of a lighthouse and breakwaters. Between 1877–1882 the political and literary weekly newspaper Liepājas Pastnieks was published – the first Latvian language newspaper in Libau. In the 1870s the further rapid development of Russian railways the 1871 opening of the Libava-Kaunas and the 1876 Liepāja–Romny Railways, ensured that a large proportion of central Russian trade passed through Libau. By 1900, 7% of Russian exports were passing through Libau; the city became a major port of the Russian Empire on the Baltic Sea, as well as a popular resort. On the orders of Alexander III, Libau was fortified against possible German attacks. Fortifications were subsequently built around the city, in the early 20th century, a major military base was established on the northern edge, it included extensive quarters for military personnel.
As part of the military development, a separate port was excavated for military use. This area became known as Kara Osta and served military needs through
Cesvaine Municipality is a municipality in Vidzeme, Latvia. The municipality was formed in 2009 by reorganization of Cesvaine town with its countryside territory, the administrative centre being Cesvaine. In 2010 Cesvaine parish was created from the countryside territory of Cesvaine town. Administrative divisions of Latvia Media related to Cesvaine Municipality at Wikimedia Commons
Mārupe Municipality is a municipality in Latvia. The municipality was formed in 2009 by reorganization of Mārupe parish the administrative centre being Mārupe. Riga International Airport is located in the municipality; the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency has its head office at the airport. AirBaltic has its head office on the airport property. SmartLynx Airlines has its head office in Mārupe. Administrative divisions of Latvia Mārupe municipality