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Balvi

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Balvi

Balvi
Town
Bērzpils street in Balvi
Bērzpils street in Balvi
Flag of Balvi
Flag
Coat of arms of Balvi
Coat of arms
Balvi is located in Latvia
Balvi
Balvi
Location in Latvia
Coordinates:
Country  Latvia
Municipality Balvi Municipality
Town rights 1928
Government
 • Mayor Jānis Trupovnieks
Area
 • Total 5.1 km2 (2.0 sq mi)
Population
 • Total 7,997
 • Density 1,576/km2 (4,080/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code LV-4501
Calling code +371 645
Number of municipal council members 15

Balvi (   ) is a town in the Latgalia region of eastern Latvia. It is the administrative seat of the region (Latvian: rajons) of the same name since 1949; prior to the occupation of Latvia it was part of the Abrene district. The name derives from the stream Bolupīte and the adjacent lake.

The first mention of Balvi was in 1224. A small wooden church and manor were constructed on the estate of a Polish noblewoman at the site ca. 1765. When Latgale came under Russian rule in 1772, the estate was granted to the Yelagin family by Catherine II. In 1806 it passed to the Horozhinsky family and in 1876 the estate was purchased by the Baltic German Transehe-Roseneck family. The village was separated from the estate in 1915, and Balvi received town rights in 1928.

Most of the town's Jews (around 21% of the population) perished in the Stahlecker phase of the Holocaust in August 1941. The retreating Germans set fire to Balvi in July 1944, and the town was rebuilt according to Soviet plans from 1945. Balvi was a center of the Singing Revolution and is vital to Latgalian culture today. The town library in particular is the focus of many cultural events.

Demographics of Balvi

Demographics in Balvi
Latvians
  
75.26%
Russians
  
23.27%
Belarusians
  
1.16%
Ukrainians
  
1.7%
Poles
  
1.4%
Roma
  
0.4%
Germans
  
0.31%
Others
  
3.48%
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