Ermak Travel Guide


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Timeline of Latvian history













200 BC   Latvian ancestors settle the Baltic coast






1184 AD   Christian missionary Saint Meinhard comes to modern day Latvia to convert local Livonian people to Christianity.

Saint Mainhard becomes the first bishop of Livonia by the orders of Roman Catholic Pope.


Bishop Berthold of Hanover is killed by the Livonians in the battle at the mouth of Daugava River. This defeat offsets Crusaders plans to conquer the lands.


Albert of Riga becomes the third bishop of Livonia.

Pope Innocent III proclaims a Second Baltic Crusade against pagan tribes of modern day Latvia.


Albert of Riga founds Riga on the site of earlier smaller Livonian settlement.

1202   Albert of Riga founds the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, military Catholic order of Crusaders.
1206   The Livonian Brothers of the Sword and their allies Semigallian defeat Livonians and Latgalians coalition in the battle.
1217   The Livonian Brothers of the Sword with their allies, Livonians and Latgalians, defeated coalition of Estonians and Viljandi.
1229   Bishop Albert of Riga died.
1236   The Livonian Brothers of the Sword was defeated in the Battle of Saule in Lithuania by coalition army of Lithuanians and Semigallians.
1242   Livonian Order was defeated by the Russian Novgorod army under leadership of Alexander Nevsky on Lake Peipus
1255   Riga is elevated by Pope and becomes the capital of Archbishopric of Riga.
1261   Samogitians defeat Livonian Order at Lielvarde
1263   Livonian Order is defeated again by the Lithuanians
1282   Riga joins Hanseatic League
1422   Livonian Diet (Parliament) meets for the first time
1452   Archbishopric of Riga and the Livonian Order jointly rule Livonia
1481   Russia attacks Livonia, beginning of the Livonian War
1501   The Livonian Order with help of Lithuania attacks Russia
1502   Russia signs peace treaty with the Livonian Order and accepts its defeat.
1558   Ivan the Terrible of Russia attacks Livonia again
1561   Poland conquers lands of the Southern Latvia. Catholicism is established everywhere.
1569   Lithuania and Poland forms Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth. Latvia is part of this huge empire.
1689   Pastor Ernst Gluck publishes Latvian translation of the Bible
1700   Great Northern War begins
1710   Russian troops capture Riga.
1721   The Treaty of Nystadt is signed. End of the Great Northern War. Russia gets parts of the Baltic coast
1816   Tsar Alexander I abolishes selfdom in Latvia, although the rest of the Russian Empire keeps it until 1861
1841   Great Famine in Livonia. Thousands of Latvians moves Eastward across the Russian Empire settling in Siberia where the land is cheap and there is no shortage of game in the forests
1877   First railroad joins Riga with Jurmala.



Russian Revolution of 1905 spreads into modern day Latvia. Russian autocracy and German landowners are primary target of Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian and etc proletariat and peasantry.

13th January Russian troops fire at demonstrators in Riga. This results in 73 dead and over 200 wounded



1 August World War I begins. By the end of the war 850,000 flee East to Russia to escape horrors of the war



18 November Latvia proclaims its independence



11 August The Latvian- Soviet Peace Treaty is signed



22 September Latvia joins the League of Nations (prototype of the UN)



February Latvia adopts its first constitution



15 May Prime Minister Karlis Ulmanis takes power after bloodless coup, succession of unstable governments end


23 August The Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact between USSR and Nazi Germany is signed. This paves way for annexation of the Baltic states.


1 September World War II begins

1940   16 June USSR presents Latvia with an ultimatum

17 June Soviet army occupies Latvia

5 August Latvia becomes part of USSR and renamed to Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR)

1941   13 June Massive deportation of Latvians

22 June Germany attacks Soviet Union

1 July Nazi Germany occupies Latvia

4 July Latvian partisans execute 416 Jews

1943   Jewish ghetto in Riga is completely wiped out
1944   Soviet Army drives the German out of Latvia, takes back these territories. Many Latvians flee with the retreating Germans.
1955   After death of Stalin in 1953 30,000 Latvians return to their homes under general amnesty
1987   14 June First demands to commemorate deportations of Latvians by the Soviet government in 1941
1988   23 August Demonstrations against the Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact thus demanding independence for the country.
1990   4 May Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia is passed by the Latvian SSR Supreme Council
1991   January Pro- Communist political forces attempt to restore Soviet power. Blood is shed by both side.

6 September The Soviet Union recognizes independence of Latvia

17 September Latvia joins the United Nations.

1993   July Guntis Ulmanis is elected president of Latvia
1994   August Last Russian troops leave Latvia
1995   Latvia joins Council of Europe
1996   Guntis Ulmanis is re- elected
2004   2 April Latvia joins NATO

1 May Latvia became a member of European Union