- Regions of Latvia
Latviais divided into several historical and cultural regions.
constitutionused to recognize four distinct regions:
* Kurzeme (Courland), the western part of Latvia, consisting roughly the counties of Liepāja, Kuldīga, Talsi, Saldus and Ventspils.
Zemgale(Semigallia) is the central part of Latvia. Zemgale is bounded by Kurzeme in the east, Gulf of Rigaand Daugavariver in the north and Latvia- Lithuaniaborder in the south. It consists approximately of the counties of Bauska, Dobele, Jelgava and Tukums and parts of Aizkraukle, Daugavpils, Jēkabpils, Ogre and Riga counties which are south of Daugavariver. Traditional Semigallia also includes the northern part of Šiauliai Countyin Lithuania.
Vidzeme, meaning "Middle land", is also known as Livland, though it comprises only a small part of traditional Livland. Present Vidzeme is the Latvian part of Swedish Livoniaand Riga. It roughly corresponds to Alūksne, Cēsis, Gulbene, Limbaži, Madona, Valka, Valmiera counties and parts of Aizkraukle, Ogre and Riga counties north of Daugavariver.
Latgale(Latgallia), the part of Livonia still in hands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealthafter the Treaty of Altmarkin 1629, so called Inflanty Voivodeship. It roughly corresponds to Balvi, Krāslava, Ludza, Preiļi, Rēzekne counties and parts of Daugavpils and Jēkabpils counties north of Daugavariver.
A fifth region is Sēlija (Selonia, Augšzeme), often considered a part of Semigallia. Selonia comprises the eastern part of the 1939 province of Semigallia, roughly corresponding to parts Aizkraukle, Daugavpils and Jēkabpils counties south of
Daugavariver. Traditional Selonia also includes a portion of north east Lithuania. Named after the Selonians.
In some cases, Kurzeme and Zemgale are combined into one region. This reflects the political division of Latvia between 1629 and 1917, when Kurzeme and Zemgale were together, first as the
Duchy of Courland, then as the Courland Governoratein the Russian Empirewhile Vidzeme and Latgale were politically separate, both from Courland and one from another. From this perspective, there are three regions: Kurzeme (including Zemgale and Sēlija), Vidzeme and Latgale. This division of Latvia into three regions is no longer commonly used but it can be seen in the Coat of Arms of Latviaand the Monument of Freedom in Rigaboth of which contain three stars: for Kurzeme, Vidzemeand Latgale, which were united into Latviain 1918.
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