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Coat of arms (crest) of Rīga

Country : Latvia

Region : Vidzeme

Municipality : Rīga

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Official blazon
Latvian 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.
English blazon wanted


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.

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.

The lions were substituted by Russian eagles in the time of Russian empire (from 1710 to 1914). In 1923 the lions were restored. In 1925 the new design of the arms was adopted.

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.

In 1990 the design of 1925 was confirmed again.

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Literature: https://www.vestnesis.lv

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