Riga was founded in 1201 by Albert, a German bishop. However, the territory was populated even earlier.
In 1282 the city joined the Hanseatic League.
In 1510, Riga became the first place in the world to decorate a Christmas tree.
In 1629, German rule was replaced by Swedish rule, and Riga became the biggest city in the Swedish Kingdom.
In 1710, Riga came under Russian rule, but the German influence was still present until the establishment of an independent Latvia.
In 1873, Riga hosted the first National Song Festival.
The economic boom and rapid constructional developments at the beginning of the 20th century made Riga one of the most prominent Art Nouveau cities in world and one of the most prosperous in the Russian Empire.
Between 1901 and 1912, George Armistead, a British national, was the mayor of Riga.
On 18 November 1918, Latvia proclaimed its independence and stayed a free country until 1940 when it was occupied by the Soviet Army, which was soon replaced by the Nazi occupation, only to be conquered by the Soviets again at the end of the Second World War.
In 1991, Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union.
In 1995, the historic centre of Riga was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
In 2001, Riga held a grandiose celebration in honour of its 800th anniversary.
In 2014, Riga was named a European Capital of Culture.