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Latvian Russian
Maskavas forshtate

Maskavas forstate, 19.07.2007<br>Source: wikimedia.org, Dezidor

Maskavas Forstate is an old Riga neighbourhood situated on the right bank of the river Daugava. This neighborhood is located to the south of the old City of Riga along the road connecting Riga to Moscow, from which its name is derived.

At first Moscow forstate was going by the name Lastadia. This emerged from German word "die Last" - cargo, the unit of measurement at that time. There was a cord workshop and calcareous factory in Lastadia. The shipyard was also opened in the 15th century. The economic environment of Lastadia was the reason of good development of the region.

During Middle Ages mostly Jews and Russians lived in Moscow outskirt. Riga Council didn't allow Russian merchants to live in the city. Having arrived with their products by the big Moscow road, merchants settled near the city gate - they were building barracks and temporary dwellings. This is how today's Maskavas Street was covered with buildings. The place, where merchants settled probably started its creation after the 1212 Year agreement was reached between Riga and Polotsk.

The first evidence of Jewish merchants is dated by 1536. But the resident places for living started its creation in 1638, when the first Jewish house was built behind the city gates on the place of today's Central market. Every day after the trading hours ended, Jews must have been leaving city territory. They could be back only after the market was opened again.

The Moscow forstate is the only outskirt, where churches of 5 different confessions are located. Every church is unique. The Jesus Church is the biggest wooden building in Latvia. Grebenshikov's old-believer preaching-house is the biggest in the world. On the territory of Moscow outskirt there is a Central market, which at the start of the 20th century was the most modern and biggest market in Europe. It is also important to remember, that ghetto is also located on this territory.