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Valmiera

Trip Planner Europe  /  Latvia  /  Vidzeme Region  /  Valmiera
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Valmiera is the largest city of the historical Vidzeme region, Latvia, with a total area of 18.1km². It is the center of the Valmiera District. As of 2002, Valmiera had a population of 27,323, and in 2008 – 27,569.It lies at the crossroads of several important roads, 100km to the north-east from Riga, the capital of Latvia, and 50km south of the border with Estonia. Valmiera lies on both banks of the Gauja River.HistoryValmiera and its surroundings have been one of the longest-inhabited regions of Latvia. Archeological evidence indicates the site was inhabited 9,000 years ago. Valmiera was first mentioned as a town in a chronicle dating back to 1323. The actual founding of the town probably occurred at least 40 years earlier when the master of the Livonian Order Wilken von Endorp constructed a castle (Wolmar) and Catholic church on the banks of the river Gauja. Valmiera was a member of the Hanseatic League from the 14th–16th centuries. Involvement in the Hansa brought significant trade and movement into the town’s life.During the Great Northern War Valmiera was destroyed and burned down in 1702. Valmiera largely followed the history of northern Livonia.During World War II, Valmiera was captured by troops of the German Army Group North on 4 July 1941 and placed under the administration of Reichskommissariat Ostland. The city was recaptured on 24 September 1944 by troops of the 3rd Baltic Front of the Red Army during the Riga Offensive.
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