Riga was founded in 1201. Since then, Riga has been ruled by many countries, such as Sweden, Russia, and Germany. After World War I, Latvia declared itself an independent country on November 18, 1918. Kārlis Ulmanis’ became the President and Prime Minister and governed Latvia until the devastating day in 1940 when the pro-Soviet government took office after a fabricated election. The Soviet government opened the KGB headquarters and the reign of terror began with people being killed, arrested, and/or deported. Between 1940 – 1944, the Nazis occupied Latvia and caused mass devastation to the Jewish community, as people were forced into the Ghetto, deported, and killed at Nazi concentration camps. After the war, the Soviet government resumed power until 1991 when Latvia again declared itself an independent country.
Today, Riga is vibrant city with many tourist attractions located throughout the city. In 2014, it was named the European Capital of Culture.