Learn a little about Lativa - its geography, its capital city, and some interesting facts - and print out the Latvian flag as a colouring page, notebooking pages, bookmarks, jigsaw and more!
The pretty Town Hall Square in Riga, capital city of Latvia
Learn about Latvia
Geography of Latvia
- The Republic of Latvia sits between Estonia and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, sharing a border with Belarus and Russia. It has 2 million citizens.
- With nearly half its land covered by forest, Latvia is a low, green country. A survey of environmental performance ranked Latvia the world’s second best country in 2012.
- Europe’s widest rapids, Ventas Rumba, stretch 249 metres with a 100 metre wide waterfall, but is only two metres high.
Capital City, Riga
- Riga, the capital, is the Baltics biggest city and the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Famed for its 800 art nouveau buildings, it is a World Heritage site.
- Riga is very cosmopolitan, with a large Russian speaking minority a reminder of the Soviet empire days. German and English are widely spoken.
- The huge Central Market is one of Europe’s largest. Locals like to buy fish, pickles and sausages here.
Interesting Facts about Latvia
- Historic Rundale Palace has 138 rooms and looks like Versailles. It was built by the Empress of Russia in 1736 for the Duke of Courland. The architect of the Winter Palace in St Petersberg imported 1,500 craftsman from Russia!
- The first Christmas tree is said to have been erected in Town Hall Square in Riga over 500 years ago. Traditionally Latvian Christmas trees are decorated with straw figures.
- Yellow amber gemstones, known as 'dzintar 'in Latvian, were formed by fossilised pine tree resin. Sometimes you can see prehistoric insects in the stones, which are used for jewellery.
- Sigulda has the only Bobsleigh track from the former USSR, with Latvians such as the Sics brothers winning Olympic silver medals in Vancouver 2010. The winter sports, cross country skiing and ice hockey, are also popular.