Rīga's 'Moscow' district renamed 'Latgale' district

As a continuation of freeing Latvia from Soviet occupation-related names, the Rīga neighborhood "Maskavas forštate" (Moscow Suburb, casually called Maskachka) has been renamed Latgales apkaime (Latgale neighborhood) according to the decision of the Riga City Council's Urban Development's committee on May 8.

The new name of the neighborhood was chosen after evaluating the historical place names in the area. Before the war, the term "Statistical District Latgale" was used in documents designating the area.

Last year Latgale Park regained its historical name, which was already present in documents from 1937, while this year the largest street in the neighborhood was renamed Latgales Street. Taking these facts into account, the Riga Place Names and Urban Object Names Commission decided to give the neighborhood the name Latgale as well.

"There will be no more names in Riga that glorify Moscow. There will be no more Moscow Suburb as a name either. Instead, there is the Latgale neighborhood, which gives preference to the historical name," emphasized Riga Deputy Mayor Edvards Ratnieks (National Alliance/Latvian Association of Regions).

The names of the neighborhoods have not been given in any decision of the Riga City Council. They are used by both the municipality and the residents as unofficial place names that have developed historically.

This means that renaming a neighborhood does not require a decision of the Riga City Council, nor does it require any amendments.

The municipality will inform the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency, whose place name database includes the place name "Maskavas forštate", of the change, and the information will also be changed on the municipality's geoportal georiga.lv and on the Riga neighborhoods website www.apkaimes.lv.

Over the last two years, the active change of street and place names in Riga has been linked to the aftermath of the occupation, as the remaining street names glorifying the Soviet regime and its supporters have to be replaced by new ones. 

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