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Port of Riga over nine Centuries - XX-th Century

Time of growth and changes.

The new century started with the world’s industrial crisis. At the beginning of the 20th century Riga was the largest Russia’s timber export port and ranked the 3rd in the Tsarist Russia Empire according to the external trade volume. In 1901, in order to increase the throughput capacity, the Russian government took a decision to build Eksportosta. In 1902, the first freezer was opened in Andrejsala. A year later the Riga Freight Station started its operations. In 1905, the first electric power station of the city was opened in Andrejosta. In 1914, shortly before World War I, the second Railway Bridge across the River Daugava was opened. In 1915, the evacuation of Riga’s factories, ships and port equipment to Russia started. In 1917, when leaving the city, the Russian Army blew up the bridges of Riga as well as some buildings located at the port. The German army occupied Riga. In 1918 the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed. On Christmas of the same year the first ship in the world raised the red-white-red Latvian flag. In 1920, a Peace Treaty between Latvia and Russia was signed and the renewal of economic life started. In 1928, the depth of fairways reached 8.2 meters, while in 1938 - 9.0 meters. New freezer and warehouses were built in Eksportosta. In 1926, the icebreaker Krišjānis Valdemārs started its operations. The main trade partners of Latvia were the Great Britain and Germany. In 1940 the Soviet regime was proclaimed in Latvia for the first time. In the summer of 1941, World War II broke out, which excluded the possibility of logical development for the Port of Riga for a long period of time. During Soviet years, at the beginning of the 1980’s, one of the largest container terminals in the USSR was built in Kundzinsala, as well as a berth and an infrastructure for liquid gas export was created, the Riga Passenger Terminal and Zvejas Osta in Rinuzi were put into operation. On 4 May 1990, the Latvian Supreme Council adopted a Declaration on the Renewal of Independence of the Republic of Latvia and a new stage in the history of development of the Port of Riga started.