Rīga

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Heraldry of the World
Civic heraldry of Latvia - Latvias ģerboņi/Latvijas heraldika
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RĪGA

Region : Vidzeme

Arms of Rīga

Official blazon

Sudraba laukā savrups sarkans robots ķieģeļu mūris ar diviem torņiem un jumtu starp tiem. Atvērtos vārtos ar paceltu režģi pretī zelta lauvas galva. Augšā zelta ķetnu krusts, virs tā zelta kronis, zem tā - divas sakrustotas melnas atslēgas. Vairoga turētāji: divas zelta lauvas ar sarkanu mēli un atpakaļ pagrieztu galvu stāv uz pelēkas pamatnes.

Origin/meaning

The arms were granted in 1925

Riga was first time mentioned in written sources in 1198 as a town at small river Riga (Ridzene) in the land of Livonian people. City rights were granted in 1201 by the bishop Albert, initiator of christening and conquest of Livonian and Baltic people. He introduced also an explanation of city name as derived from Latin "rigata" ("irrigated"). It should symbolize an irrigation of dry pagan souls by Christianity.

The first known picture of the city arms is from a 1225 seal. It already contains main elements of arms: city gate with towers and two keys. The gate symbolizes city rights and keys symbolize St. Peter, a first patron of Riga.

Riga1.jpg

The seal of Riga in 1225.
Riga2.jpg

The large seal of Riga in the 14-15th century.
Riga3.jpg

The 14th century small seal
Riga4.jpg

The arms on a coin from 1586

Two supporting lions were added to the arms in the 16th century. They should mean citizens' power and bravery. The lions were derived from the Swedish national arms, as Riga belonged to Sweden at the time. The small cross in the chief was also replaced by a crown,representing the Swedish King.

Riga5.jpg

The arms in 1554
Riga9.jpg

The seal from 1707 with a crown

The lions were substituted by Russian eagles in the time of Russian empire (from 1710 to 1914).

Riga10.jpg

The arms in 1723
Riga11.jpg

The arms in 1788
Riga12.jpg

Proposed arms in 1904

In 1923 the lions were restored. In 1925 the new design of the arms was adopted.

Riga13.jpg

The arms in 1923

The arms were abolished in 1940, when Latvia was annexed by the USSR. In 1968 efforts were taken to restore the arms with soviet-style adaptations. In 1988 the arms were restored almost similar to the arms of 1925, but with red five-pointed star.

Riga16.jpg

Proposed arms in 1968, 1987 and 1988
Riga18.jpg

Great arms in 1988

In 1990 the design of 1925 was confirmed again.

Seal of Rīga

Seal from around 1900
Seal of Rīga

Seal from around 1900
Rigatz1.jpg

Seal of the theater, around 1900
Arms of Rīga

The arms in the Continentale Verlags-Anstalt album, +/- 1910
Arms of Rīga

The arms in the Abadie albums


Literature : https://www.vestnesis.lv

Link=Latvia


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