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Riga, Latvia

 

As recently as twenty years ago, some of Riga's medieval churches were stacked with hay, the Soviets had pushed ancient folk culture underground, and living here was hard.

Fast forward to 2014 and Riga is a funky place with colour and coffee shops. This year it is also Europe's Capital of Culture. Visitors will be awed by an exhibition featuring 500 years of the printed book, summer solstice festivals, the World Choir Games that has brought 20,000 singers from 90 countries, plus  Northern Europe's largest festival of light.

 
 

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