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The Sacred and the Profane

The Sacred and the Profane

When the Liv – the local tribe here – were conquered by the Livonian Order, the Liv chief Kaupo was the first of the tribal chiefs to adopt Christianity. When he went to Rome to meet Pope Innocent III, he returned with a bag of gold which he used to build...
Cēsis, spas and flags

Cēsis, spas and flags

It’s amazing how much the old comrade elite loved their spas in the Soviet era. They were not frequented by the proletariat of course and, in that regard at least, capitalism is no different because spas are too pricy to be regularly enjoyed by the average...
A Sanatorium and A Bunker

A Sanatorium and A Bunker

I have an excellent potential location for a Four Seasons or some other grand hotel chain in Latvia. If the Four Seasons can turn the ‘Midnight Express’ prison in Istanbul into a fabulous hostelry, there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to do...
Kuldiga, Latvia, The Gambia and Tobago

Kuldiga, Latvia, The Gambia and Tobago

As you stroll along the charming cobbled streets of Kuldiga, a provincial town in Kurzeme of red-tiled roofs, ochre walls and half-timbered buildings, there is really no reason that the country of Gambia in West Africa or even Tobago in the Caribbean, should spring to...
Kuksu Muiza and The Way Thither

Kuksu Muiza and The Way Thither

  “Occasionally Russian Latvians complain that they are treated as second-class citizens in Latvia although it is their own country and that they would be better off going to live in Russia. I knew a family who went back for eight months before they came...