NATIONAL ICONS OF LATVIA
(11 May 1835 – 10 January 1905 )
Kārlis Baumanis (11 May 1835 – 10 January 1905), better known as Baumaņu Kārlis, was an ethnic Latvian composer in the Russian Empire. He is the author of the lyrics and music of Dievs, svētī Latviju! (“God bless Latvia!”), the national anthem of Latvia.
Kārlis Baumanis was the first composer to use the word “Latvia” in the lyrics of a song, in the 19th century, when Latvia was still a part of the Russian Empire.
Symbol of Independence of Latvia
The Freedom Monument
November 18, 1935
The Freedom monument, or Brivibas piemineklis, in the capital city Riga has become an undisputed symbol of independence. It was built from 1931 until 1935 from donated funds. The monument is designed by Latvian sculptor Karlis Zale.
At the base of the monument sculptural reliefs illustrate different significant moments in Latvia's history, while the very top displays the symbol of freedom a woman who embodies the idea of Latvia's sovereignty. At the foot of the freedom monument there is never a lack of flowers, which are placed here with deep respect for those, who have formed this nation and who have sacrificed their lives in the fight for independence for the good of the nation and its people.
The National Flower of Latvia
Daisy (Parastā pīpene )
The Latvian national flower is the pīpene or daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).
This common wildflower blossoms in June, just in time to be woven into festive wreaths for the Midsummer festivities (Jāņi). It continues to bloom until September, providing Latvian flower lovers, decorators and celebrants with their most popular accent for floral gifts and arrangements throughout the summer.
National Insect of Latvia
The Latvian national insect is the two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata).
The two-spot ladybird is familiar as a useful insect that protects plants from parasites. Although rather slow by nature, it can defend itself well. Due to its appearance and behaviour it is widely known and liked throughout Latvia. The insect's Latvian name - marite - is a synonym for the ancient Latvian goddess Mara, who embodies the power of the earth. The two-spot ladybird was designated the national insect of Latvia by the Entomological Society of Latvia.
National Trees of Latvia
(Tilia cordata, Latvian: liepa)
The linden, or lime tree and the oak (Quercus robur, Latvian: ozols) are considered the national trees of Latvia. The oak and the linden tree are characteristic elements of the Latvian landscape. Both trees are still widely used for medical purposes. Medicinal infusions are made of linden blossoms as well as oak bark. Latvian dainas (folk songs) often reflect ethical and moral concepts of earlier times. Amongst other trees, these folk songs most often mention the oak and linden tree. In traditional Latvian folk beliefs and folklore the linden tree is looked upon as a female symbol, but the oak - a male symbol. The nation's reverence for these trees, which in earlier times were considered sacred, can be witnessed, for example, in a landscape where, in the middle of a cultivated field there still remains a lone large, sacred oak or linden tre
National Bird of Latvia
( (Motacilla alba)
The Latvian national bird is the balta cielava or white wagtail (Motacilla alba). This slender and graceful bird is often found in Latvia from April till October. The white wagtail can usually be seen running briskly along the ground, wagging its tail up and down. This bird usually nests in the rafters and eaves of buildings, woodpiles, stone piles, and birdhouses. During the winter it migrates to Southern Europe and North Africa. The white wagtail was affirmed the national bird of Latvia in 1960 by the International Bird Protection Council.
Natural Monument of Latvia
Venta Rapid (Latvian: Ventas rumba) is a waterfall on the Venta River in Kuldīga.
It is the widest waterfall in Europe – 249 metres (817 ft) and up to 270 metres (886 ft) during spring floods. Its height is 1.80–2.20 metres (5.9–7.2 ft) and it changes depending on the water level in the river.
Waterfall has formed on Devonian dolostone. It formed an obstacle on Venta - medieval inland shipping route and due to this here formed settlement - contemporary Kuldīga. In the 17th and 19th centuries there were started works for building a shipping route around the falls but works were abandoned.
Fishing weirs were carved into the stone. They were used to catch salmon and sturgeon. The fish that didn't make the jump up the river were swept by the current back into the canals where they were caught in hanging baskets.
On January 1, 1997, it was designated a natural monument of Latvia.
Symbol of Latvian Fate
the River Daugava
The Daugava is considered the Latvian national river. The Daugava is the largest river that flows through Latvia (total length 1005 km, of these 352 km flow through Latvian territory).
Known as the "river of fate" or "mother of rivers", the Daugava has served as an ancient trade route linking the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, profoundly influencing the flow of Latvian history. For centuries the Daugava has served as an essential transport artery, means of livelihood, and source of energy. (Latvia's hydroelectric stations are located along the Daugava). Today, as in the past, the Daugava serves as a borderline between distinct Latvian cultural and historical regions, separating Kurzeme and Zemgale from Vidzeme and Latgale..