At the Edge of Empires – Latvia in Antique Maps

03.09.2019. 17:30

Can you spot your ancestors' village in antique maps of Latvia? How did 17th century cartographers draw Latvia? When was the first time a map referenced Latvians as a distinct ethnic group? Why are portolans important for the development of Baltic Sea trade? What is a portolan? And how do you read an antique map anyway?

Find out the answers to these and many other questions. Lars Grava will present highlights of his collection of more than 400 antique maps of the territories that are now the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, with a focus on Lars’ ancestral homeland of Latvia from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The maps provide a fascinating insight into a turbulent geographical area which has been at the crossroads of Germany, Sweden, Poland-Lithuania and Russia. This presentation will highlight interesting features of selected maps with commentary about the social, political and historical context.

Lars Grava works at the World Bank and has worked in more than 50 countries worldwide. He was born in New York and lived in Latvia for 10 years. His interest in maps of Latvia started from his father, who began the collection in the 1960s which Lars now continues at his home in Washington.

September 12 at 7 pm at the Embassy of Latvia (2306 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC). 

Event is free of charge. Registration via Eventbrite required. Photo ID required to enter the Embassy.