Peter the Great in Latvia

The Great Tsar repeatedly visited Latvia and Riga. For the first time he was here in 1697 as part of the Great Embassy, a diplomatic mission to establish military-political, cultural, economic and scientific relationships with the West. The Russian army besieged Riga during the Northern War, in July 1710 the city surrendered and the inhabitants swore allegiance to the Russian tsar. In 1721, when the Northern War ended, Riga was ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad.

In 1711, Peter came to Riga for the first time as a monarch. Residents remember him for his democracy: researchers of Latvian folklore have noted that the image of Peter the Great in Latvian folk tales is usually positive.

In 1712-1717, Peter stopped in Riga almost every year on his way to Europe.

Peter the Great took care of Riga, ordered a new harbor to be laid here, and by his will the first large park in Riga (now the Viestura Garden) was created. By his order, the so-called Second Royal Garden (on Sarkandaugava) was also laid out.

Sources: Seppel, Marten. The Journey of the Grand Embassy through Livonia and the Great Famine of 1696–97 // Slavonic and East European Review / Modern Humanities Research Association. – 2020. - Volume 98, Number 4 (October). - Pp. 690-711.