Cultural regions of Latvia

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Cultural regions of Latvia with cities and towns

Cultural regions of Latvia are several areas within Latvia formally recognised as distinct from the rest of the country. While some of these regions are seen purely as culturally distinct, others have historically been parts of different countries and have been used to divide the country for administrative and other purposes. The Constitution of Latvia recognises four distinct regions: Kurzeme, Zemgale, Latgale and Vidzeme.[1]


In some cases, Kurzeme and Zemgale are combined into one region. This reflects the political division of Latvia between 1629 and 1917, when Kurzeme and Zemgale were together, first as the Duchy of Courland, then as the Courland Governorate in the Russian Empire while Vidzeme and Latgale were politically separate, both from Courland and one from another.

From this perspective, there are three regions: Kurzeme (including Zemgale and Sēlija), Vidzeme and Latgale. Such division is no longer commonly used but it can be seen in the coat of arms of Latvia and the Monument of Freedom in Riga both of which contain three stars: for Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale, which were united into Latvia in 1918.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Valts Kalnins (October 2001). "Elections". Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA). Retrieved 2010-01-04.