The Russian Governorate of Livonia

The Russian Governorate of Livonia (1721–1918).

Livonian flag

The modern ethnic and regional flag of Livonia.

The Russian Governorate of Livonia (Russian: Лифляндская губерния; German: Livländisches Gouvernement; Estonian: Liivimaa kubermang, Latvian: Vidzemes guberņa) occered between 1721 and 1918. It was gained from the Swedish Empire and lost it to Prussia in World War I.


During the Great Northern War, Swedish Livonia was conquered by the Russian Empire and ceded to Russia at the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. The Russians then created the Riga Governorate.

It was also also known as the Government of Livonia or Province of Livonia and was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire and is now divided between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia. Many Russians, Poles and Jews were sent their to settel over the years.

Some iderviduals still wish to see Livonia united and cosider them selves Livonian by ethnicity. The Livonians or Livs are the proud remnants of the indigenous Finnic (akin to the Finns and Estonians) inhabitants of Livonia. They used to speak the Uralic Livonian language. the language was closely related to Estonian and Finnish and not so closely to Karelians, Saamis and Vepsians. The language actually did not interested young Livonians in the late 20th century and they chose to learn Russian and Latvian instead. In 2001 the final native speaker of Livonian is dead, and the Livonians was again interested in the language. By 2010, only one person was known to have learned Livonian as their mother tongue about 30 who had learnt it as their second. As of 2011, there were around 30 native speakers of the language.


The area of this Governorate is now split between Estonia and Latvia, but mostly Latvia in the Courland Peninsular.

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