RIGA. a city of Russia, and the capital of Livonia, is situated about seven miles from the sea, on an extensive plain on the Dwina, and on the gulf of Riga. The city is situated on the right, and the suburbs on the left bank of the river. The streets are narrow and crooked, but the houses, which are generally of stone, are neat. The principal public buildings, Ste. are the town house, the exchange, the house of assembly for the states of Livo nia, the imperial palace, the cathedral, the imperial lyceum, the arsenal, the hospital of St. George, the church of St. Peter, remarkable for its fine tower, the Russian hospital, the botanic garden, the theatre, the custom-house, and the monument of the incendiaries of Riga There is also a public library, the museum of Hinimsel, and a college. As the Dwina is too wide for ail iron or a stone bridge, it is crossed by a floating wooden bridge, 40 feet in breadth, and 2600 in length. "A row of piles," says Mr. Coxe, "extends from one shore to the other ; each pile is from 25 to 40 feet long, according to the depth of the river ; and appears about four feet above the level of the water. To these piles the parts of the bridge are loosely fastened, by means of iron chains, fixed to the transverse beams. The bridge rises and falls with the river, and under the wheels of heavy laden carriages it moves as if actuated by a spring." When the frost sets in, the bridge is removed ; the piles remaining in the water arc forced up by the ice, and conveyed to land, and the whole is again laid down in the spring. The harbour of Riga is commodious and safe, from the width of the river, and from its distance from the sea. The entrance of the river is defended by the fort of Dunaberg.
The principal manufactures of Riga are starch, play ing cards, refining of sugar and brandy; and some vessels, particularly coasting ones, are built.
In a commercial point of view, Riga is one of the most important places in the Baltic. By the Dwina, and by a great number of land conveyances in winter, it receives the productions of Livonia, Esthonia, Courland, White Russia, the district of Minsk, Lithuania, and the Ukraine. A great quantity of Russian corn is exported;
and the rye and barley of Sweden, Norway, and Hol land pass through it. The flax and hemp are assorted at Riga by experienced persons into several kinds, and the prices of them fixed. The best flax comes from Marienburg, Druja, Sebesk, and Ratiska. The govern ment of Novogorod Sevcrsky furnishes the best hemp ; and that which comes from the district of Staradub is particularly valued. The greatest part of the flax and hemp are bought by the English. Riga exports chiefly through English and Scotch houses, planks, beams, skins, tallow, tar, and pitch. The values of the exports were In 1790, 6,525,714 rubles.
1804, 12,166,912 I8C9, 15,547,3J The articles imported are commonly wines, English ales, oils, spiceries, fruits, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, and woollen, cotton, and silk goods. They have amounted to 6, 7, and 8,000,000 rubles. The exports in 1804 were divided as follows : the states of the Church, situated in the Marecchia, near the Gulf of Venice. The town is of consider able size, but gloomy ; but the streets are strait. There are several squares in the town, and in the principal one there is a marble fountain, with a statue of Pope Paul V. in the centre of it. In the marketplace there is a stone pedestal, with an inscription on it, stating that upon it Cxsar had stood and harrangued his army after passing the Rubicon. The cathedral, the church of St. Francis, and some others, are ornamented with fine marble taken from the harbour of Rimini, which was once covered with it. The church of St. Francis is a fine building, erected in the fifteenth century, and is adorned with statues, basso relievos, and numerous sculptures. The principal antiquities here are a tri umphal arch of Augustus, and an elegant bridge 220 feet long over the Marecchia, consisting of five arches, which was commenced by Augustus and finished by Tiberius. Its communication with the sea is by a ca nal which is choked up with sand and mud. Popu lation about 8000. East long. 12° 32' 51", and North lat. 44° 3' 43".