© Latvia National Theater archive, singer Elīna Garanča

The nation of inventors, creators, and performers

Latvia’s turbulent history has shaped a unique set of values, traits, and characteristics for the Latvian nation that takes pride in being resilient, hard-working, and creative.

A culture that excites

From ancient times, Latvians have been a self-sufficient agricultural nation that takes great pride in its ancient roots, language, cultural heritage, and a beautiful land embraced by the Baltic Sea. Without a doubt, today’s Latvian identity has been shaped by the comprehensive history of the nation throughout the times. However, the National Awakening movement in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century was the one to lay a crucial foundation for the present national identity and Latvian independence.

Thus, the history of Latvia has long shown that its most valuable resource is creative, bold, and hardworking people. Latvians have never been afraid to take up daunting challenges and exceed expectations of success.

The nation has been well-known for being passionate about exploration, adventure, and innovation – we’ve gifted dozens of inventions and discoveries to the world. Some of the most well-known technical and scientific inventors from Latvia include:

  • Wilhelm Ostwald, a Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, who discovered the fundamental laws of homogenous catalysis of acids and bases
  • Friedrich Zander, inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket for interplanetary flight
  • Konstantīns Počs, a leading designer of meteorological rockets and one of the creators of the airborne warning and control system, AWACS
©PORSCHE publicity photo

75 Years of Porsche

Over the period of 75 years in the remarkable journey of the Porsche car brand, an extraordinary story unfolds, filled with recognition, tradition, and a rich history. This fascinating milestone owes much of its success to the legendary German sports car manufacturer Porsche and reputable Anatols Lapiņš (Anatole Lapine), a visionary from Latvia.

Printful – The First Latvia’s Unicorn

In a world of constant technological and commercial evolution, there stands a remarkable company known as Printful.

©The Association of Memorial Museums

Celebrating 158 Years of Rainis

In unity, we shall all partake,

To propel the grand endeavor’s wake.– Rainis

Did you know?

A 1958 invention by a Latvian Visvaldis Dzenis is the reason why we can buy commercially-produced mozzarella cheese in grocery stores. Dzenis prototyped a mozzarella machine, industrializing the making process of this Italian cheese.

© Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre

Another distinctive feature Latvia is known for is the long list of world-renowned artistic excellence in various art forms. Being located at a crossroads between the Western and the Eastern cultures, Latvian art displays a unique mixture of both with a distinguishable hint of the nation’s ancient roots. Famous artists originating from Latvia include:

  • Mark Rothko, an abstract painter
  • Ilmārs Blumbergs, a contemporary artist
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov, a ballet dancer, choreographer, and actor
  • Sergei Eisenstein, a film director

Did you know?

Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Global sports stars from a 1.83M nation

Other than inventors and academic music stars, Latvia is also world-famous for great sports talent. Located in Northern Europe, the country has all four seasons of the year, and the nation is proud to have both summer and winter sports athletes representing Latvia and demonstrating excellence.

Latvia’s name has made a status in the global basketball field with several outstanding basketball players and team achievements:

  • In 1935, the Latvia men’s national basketball team was the first-ever European champion in basketball. The team is often referred to as the Dream Team 1935.
  • Uljana Semjonova was the world’s leading women’s basketball player in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1993, she became the first non-US woman accepted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 2007 was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
  • Kristaps Porzingis is an NBA star from Latvia known for his precise 3-pointers, deep game knowledge, and sharp eye for detail.
  • Latvia men’s national 3×3 basketball team won the first-ever Olympic men’s tournament in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Besides that, the team holds several European and World championship medals and is among the FIBA 3×3 World Tour leaders.

Did you know?

Latvian BMX racer Māris Štrombergs became the first-ever Olympic champion in BMX cycling in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Four years later, Štrombergs prolonged his Olympic title by winning the gold medal in the London Olympic Games. Thus far, he’s the only BMX racer who’s won two Olympic golds in a row.

Thanks to Latvia’s weather diversity, winter sports have secured a special place in the hearts of Latvians, resulting in many world-renowned winter sports stars.

Latvian Ice Hockey team winning the Bronze trophy at the IIHF 2023 © Latvian Ice Hockey Federation

Latvia men’s national ice hockey team has long been among the world hockey elite, competing with ice hockey giants such as Canada, the USA, Finland, Sweden, and others. The country regularly produces NHL stars such as Sandis Ozoliņš, Kārlis Skrastiņš, Artūrs Irbe, Sergejs Žoltoks, Zemgus Girgensons, and more.

Latvian fans greeting the ice hockey team after winning the Bronze in IIHF 2023 © The State Police of Latvia

It is safe to say that Latvian hockey fans are the best-known in the world. Despite usually being the smallest country in the World Hockey Championship, Latvia compensates for it with the extraordinary passion of its hockey fans. Bringing their unmatched enthusiasm and love for the national hockey team to the Championship every year, Latvian hockey fans have no equals out there.

Martins Dukurs - six-time world champion in men's skeleton © Mikus Kļaviņš

Bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge racing are popular professional sports in Latvia and regularly deliver medals in championships and Winter Olympics. Latvian Martins Dukurs is undisputedly the most successful skeleton athlete in history, being a six-time world champion, a double Olympic silver winner, and a holder of 11 World Cup titles.


This is a story about Latvian talents, technologies, and dreams that contribute to world progress!
Did you know that Latvian Augusts Krastiņš roughly at the same time with Henry Ford built his car in Cleveland, becoming one of the world’s automotive pioneers? And did you know that for more than 20 years, the Latvian Anatols Lapiņš was a key…

Did you know?

A town in Latvia, Sigulda, ranks first in the world by the number of winter Olympic medals per inhabitant, having one medal per 1867 inhabitants. The town is also known for being home to the Sigulda bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge track, which regularly hosts championships and cups in the aforementioned sports.

The perfect place for creative introverts

When sharing what Latvia is known for, one cannot overlook the famous Latvian introversion. While Latvians don’t always perceive it as an asset, introversion could be the key to the nation’s many innovators and artistic excellence, as some studies show a link between creativity and a preference for solitude.

Latvians are known to love moments of solitude and quiet, preferably in nature’s realm. Getaways to forests, quiet seaside, or bog trails away from the crowds are a common way Latvians spend their weekends.

Being creative introverts, Latvians aren’t big talkers, and it especially applies to small talk and striking up a conversation with a stranger. Even though this characteristic may indicate that Latvians are cold, they’re not. Once you’ve earned their trust and sympathy, know – you’ve made friends for life.

Latvians won’t perceive not maintaining a conversation or not making small talk as rude. Excessive and loud talking in public, however, can be frowned upon.