Articles tagged:

Latvia

Magazine article

Of symbols and secrets: Freemasonry narratives

by Nicky Gardner

The symbols and rituals of Freemasonry, such as the Eye of Providence, the square and compasses, plus alleged secret handshakes and initiation rites all invite curiosity. The last decade has seen a great increase in the number of exhibitions and museums devoted to Masonic craft and traditions. The latest, due to open in the coming months, is in the Latvian capital Riga

Magazine article

Beyond the Small Homeland

by hidden europe

Mishar Tatars and Lipka Tatars have been quick to assimilate into the communities to which they migrated. We discover how they moved through the Baltic region, settling in Lithuania and Finland, with some moving on to Sweden and the United States of America.

Blog post

When Empires Crumbled

The dignified commemorations marking one hundred years since the end of the First World War masked the details of what actually happened in November 1918. The aftermath of the Great War was a messy business, with conflict continuing in some areas for some years after the armistice.

Blog post

Jurmala, a victim of circumstance

Imagine a gorgeous sweep of white quartz sand backed by low dunes and pine forest. Add in several mineral water springs of therapeutic value and an endless supply of curative mud - and there you have Jurmala's prime assets. The Latvian coastal resort is not so very far from the capital Riga.

Magazine article

The art of concealment: Riga

by Neil Taylor

The Latvian capital has long been shaped by outside influences. Every new master required the reinvention of the country's identity: what was acceptable was brought into the open and what could not be denied had to be conealed. Guest contributor Neil Taylor introduces us to the high art of political camouflage.

Magazine article

Livonian culture in Latvia: Mazirbe

by Toby Screech

Guest author Toby Screech travels to the heartland of the Livonian minority in Latvia to visit the their annual cultural festival. Not as grand as the main Latvian event in Riga, it is an altogether more intimate affair. And it reveals that the Livonian identity today is hardly more than the ephemeral memory of a once mighty realm.

Note

Rail update: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

New rail timetables for the former Soviet Union come into effect later this month. There remains some uncertainty about some services, but for travellers heading east, here are a few thoughts on what to expect: the return of the Berlin to Kaliningrad night train, a new link from Riga to Minsk, a direct daily train from Berlin to Ukraine and more.

Magazine article

Latvian border links

by hidden europe

Latvia's eastern borders mark the outer edge of the European Union. We look at a couple of frontier oddities in the areas where Latvia borders on to Belarus and Russia.

Magazine article

The exotic Baltic

by hidden europe

The best chicken soup this side of the Volga? Look to a Kazakh restaurant in Vilnius! The Baltic States are not just meat and potato country. You'll find exotic restaurants aplenty from Uzbek to Armenian, Georgian to Azeri.

Magazine article

A town united: Valga / Valka

by Neil Taylor

The Estonian half of the town is called Valga and the Latvian side Valka. During the days of the Soviet Union, Moscow imposed a civic unity on the dual community. Now, with the extension of the Schengen area to include the Baltic States, that unity has returned.

Magazine article

Latvia's Liv minority

by hidden europe

A remote coastal area of northern Latvia is at the heart of a modest revival of Liv culture. The Liv community of Latvia have their own language and way of life and are one the Baltic region's most distinctive cultural minorities.

Magazine article

Latvia: song is power - dance is power

by Toby Screech

Guest author Toby Screech was in Riga in Latvia last summer and chanced upon a remarkable cultural event. In the Baltic region, song and dance festivals are an important medium for asserting national identity. Toby reports for hidden europe on the Latvian Festival of Song and Dance.