The Twenty-Fifth Inforum World Conference in Riga, Latvia
The 25th Inforum World Conference will be held in Riga during the week of August 28 through September 2, 2017. The conference hosts are Inforum's Latvian partners at Riga Technical University. More information, including key dates, lodging, and contact details, are available:
The history of Riga, the capital of Latvia, begins as early as the 2nd century with a settlement at a natural harbor not far upriver from the mouth of the Daugava River. Later settled by Livs and Kurs, it was already an established trade center in the early Middle Ages along the Dvina-Dnieper trade route to Byzantium. Although Christianity had come to Latvia as early as the 9th century, Riga was founded in 1201 (over 800 years ago) by Albert, a German bishop. In 1282 the city joined the Hanseatic League. In 1510, Riga became the first place in the world to decorate a Christmas tree. In 1629, German rule was replaced by Swedish rule, and Riga became the biggest city in the Swedish Kingdom. In 1710, Riga came under Russian rule, but the German influence was still present until the establishment of an independent Latvia. The economic boom and rapid constructional developments at the beginning of the 20th century made Riga one of the most prominent Art Nouveau cities in world and one of the most prosperous in the Russian Empire.
On 18 November 1918, Latvia proclaimed its independence and stayed a free country until 1940 when it was occupied by the Soviet Army, which was soon replaced by the Nazi occupation, only to be retaken by the Soviets again at the end of the Second World War until 1991, when Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union. All these diverse historical periods have left their footprints in the architecture of Riga, which include old Gothic churches, built by founders of Riga, medieval buildings in the Old Town, exquisite Art Nouveau, as well as wooden buildings. In 1995, the historic center of Riga was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.