Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Riga, town and port of Russia, capital of Livonia, on both banks of the Southern Dwina, five miles above the Gulf of Riga, and 312 S.W. of St. Petersburg. It is situate on a sandy plain surrounded by hills, and has extensive suburbs. The modern town is well built, has good squares, wide quays, an esplanade, and gardens, and the river is crossed by a bridge of boats. Among the chief buildings are the cathedral, St. Peter's church (with lofty spire), an old castle, arsenal, etc. The chief industries are the manufacture of starch, soap, cards, artificial flowers, and brandy, and there is a very extensive export and import trade, and numerous vessels frequent the port. The Gulf of Riga is on the coasts of Courland, Livonia, and Esthonia, and is 120 miles long by 70 broad. The navigation is dangerous, and on the north-west the gulf is almost closed by the island of Oesel. The Southern Dwina flows into the gulf.