The city of Ventspils is located in the northwestern part of the Courland region where the River Venta meets the Baltic Sea. Ventspils covers an area of 58 square kilometers. Forests, parks and watercourses make up about 38%.
By land area, Ventspils is the sixth largest city in Latvia and the second largest city in the Courland region.
Ventspils population at the beginning of 2012 was 41,431 (According to OCMA data)
Ventspils developed around the Livonian Order Ventspils Castle, built along the Venta. It was chartered in 1314 and became an important mercantile city of the Hanseatic League.
As part of the Duchy of Courland, Ventspils blossomed as a shipbuilding center. 44 warships and 79 trading ships were built in the town, and it was from Ventspils that the Duke's fleet set out to colonize Gambia and Tobago. Metal, amber, and wood-working shops also became important to the city's development.
During the Polish-Swedish War (1659) Ventspils was almost completely burnt down. The majority of residents died of plague brought to Ventspils during the Northern War in 1710. All this lead to the temporary decline of the city.
The Duchy was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795.
In the middle of the 19th century, the activity of the port was resumed and the city experienced a shipbuilding revival. The Naval Academy of Ventspils started functioning in 1870.
Since the restoration of independence of Latvia (1991), enormous political and economic changes have taken place, causing rapid development of the city and port of Ventspils. The city with its fast changing urban environment is playing an increasingly important role among other Latvian cities. Ventspils attraction lies in constantly growing transit trade and tourism industry, interesting historical and architectural landmarks, excellent sports and leisure facilities, and clean beach. The city has proven successful at attracting foreign investments and establishing new companies.
Ventspils is a family-friendly city offering various possibilities both for families living here, and visitors with children from other cities and countries. Harmony between the modern port, innovative plants and factories, and the beautiful and tidy beach that has been flying the Blue Flag since 1999 makes Ventspils a very special place.
Ventspils is a capital of flowers and fountains; all over the city (even in electrical posts) you can find colourful cow sculptures, but streets, parks, squares and courtyards are decorated with flower sculptures, figurative flower compositions and tasteful flowerbeds.
Perhaps my favourite spot in Ventspils is Ventspils port. Although it's not very quite place, it's a peaceful place with beautiful sunset, there you can relax and watch the sunset with someone else.
In short, Ventspils is beautiful and clean town with many chances to relax and repose. It really is worth a visit Ventspils and I hope to back there soon.