Milestones of Latvia’s history

The area, which is now known as Latvia has been inhabited since 9000 B.C.

The ancient history of Latvia

The 2nd century B.C.

Baltic tribes came into the current territory of Latvia.

around the 5th century

Latgalian (Latvian), Shelah, and Liv and Semigallian nations formed.

The 5th century

Goths colonized the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea.

The 9th century

Scandinavian Vikings invaded Latvia's territory.

Until the 11th century

Eastern Christianity consolidated in the eastern part of Latvia.

German, Polish, Swedish and Russian occupation period

The 12th - 14th century

as a result of the Livonian crusade in the territory of Latvia the Livonian Confederation was created. German nobles became kings and landowners. The population was Christianized.

The mid-16th century – early 18th century

Latvia was divided between Poland-Lithuania, Denmark (Bishopric of Courland) and Sweden.

18th century

as a result of the Great Northern War and the division of Poland and Lithuania, Latvia was annexed to the Russian Empire.

The 19th - early 20th century

Latvia was ruled by the Russian Empire and its administrative bodies and local self-government organs − Kurzeme and Vidzeme Landtags.

Up to 1860

A number of educated Latvian young people started a movement to promote Latvian literacy. With their publications they fought against the social and economic oppression of the Latvian nation.

Battle for an independent Republic of Latvia


The western part of Latvia was taken over by German troops. To defend the country the Latvian Riflemen battalion was established.

September, 1917

In January German troops occupied Riga and a year later took over the whole territory of Latvia.

March, 1918

In the territory of Latvia and Estonia, which was occupied by Germany, the United Baltic Duchy was established.

November, 1918

Latvian National Council proclaimed the autonomy of Latvia. In November 18, 1918 the state of Latvia was established.

Losing the independence


Latvia was annexed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and became one of the fifteen Soviet republics.

June-July, 1941

German troops took Latvia over and the country was forced by the Nazis in the composition of Ostland.

1944 to 1945

Germany lost the war and the Soviets took over Latvian territory. Many Latvians fled to foreign countries.

Recovery of independence and contemporary Latvia

May 4, 1990

Latvia regained its independence, which was internationally recognized after the 21st August, 1991.

March 29, 2004

Latvia became a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

May 1, 2004

Latvia joined the European Union.