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Riga is introduced in the Brave New World expansion pack.
Musical Theme Inspiration: ?
In the 12th century AD German traders and missionaries built the town of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava around an existing settlement. By 1158 German merchants had established posts there to trade with the Balts and Finns; the first Catholic monastery was completed in 1190. In 1201 the newly proclaimed bishop of Livonia, Albert, arrived with 23 ships and 1500 armed crusaders - later organized into a branch of the Teutonic Knights - to establish his bishopric, forcibly converting the locals to Christianity. In 1282 Riga joined the Hanseatic League, insuring its commercial and political stability for three centuries.
When Riga's leaders publicly accepted the Reformation in 1522 and the power of the archbishops collapsed, the city quickly became embroiled in the religious wars. Forty years later it was captured by Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, who had intervened in the Thirty Years' War. Riga remained Swedish until 1710, when the plague-stricken port surrendered to Russian forces under Peter the Great during the Great Northern War. Riga became Tsarist Russia's largest industrialized port city until the end of World War I, when the Russian Revolution left its Baltic holdings to declare their independence in November 1918. Riga became Latvia's capital.
Through the inter-war years, Riga prospered. But Latvia's freedom was tenuous, and Riga was occupied first by the Soviet Union in June 1940 and a year later by the Nazi invaders. The Red Army's recapture of the city in 1944 was followed by an influx of Soviet workers, bureaucrats and troops to turn Riga into the most important industrial-military complex in the western USSR. The port was expanded and modernized to provide a trade outlet to the West. In January 1991, with Latvia's independence, Riga returned its former commercial concerns, making it once more a financial powerhouse in the Baltic.