Latvia is located at the crossroads of northern and Eastern Europe, on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia and Belarus to the east and Lithuania to the south and has a maritime border with Sweden to he west. Other neighbouring countries include Finland, Poland and Germany. Latvia is a country of rich history and cultural traditions. For a thousand years this land in the North-East of Europe was inhabited by the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Latvia’s geographical location between East and West has historically been attractive to foreign conquerors. The German, Swedes, Poles and Russians had ruled here, each leaving cultural imprint on the country’s architecture, infrastructure, style and personality.
Latvia is famous for its beautiful coastline and pine forests. You can see the well-known white sand beaches, and extravagant rocky beach near Tuja.
Latvia is a democratic, parliamentary republic. Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years. Latvia’s head of state, the President, is elected by the Saeima (Latvian parliament) for a period of 4 years. The President signs laws, chooses the Prime Minister and performs representative functions. The President represents the State the State in international relations, appoints the diplomatic representatives’ functions. The President represents the State in international relations, appoints the diplomatic representatives of Latvia and receives diplomatic representatives of other states.
Latvian, sometimes called Lettish, is one of the two surviving Baltic languages, the other being Lithuanian. Older generations Latvians will know Russian, while the younger once will know a little English, German or Russian.