Albert of Riga

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Albert of Riga or Albert of Livonia (; ; c. 1165 in Bexhövede, a part of Loxstedt – 17 January 1229 in Riga) was the third Bishop of Riga in Livonia. In 1201 he founded Riga, the modern capital of Latvia, and built the city's cathedral in 1221.

Albert headed the armed forces that forcibly converted the eastern Baltic region to Christianity, in the nature of a crusade that was undertaken while the Fourth Crusade was sacking Constantinople.

Albert and his brother Hermann were members of the powerful Buxhoeveden family from Bexhövede, now a part of Loxstedt, Lower Saxony. Because of this he has also been known as Albert of Buxhoeveden (or Bexhövede, Buxhövden, Buxhöwde, Buxthoeven, Appeldern).

Albert was a canon in Bremen when his uncle Hartwig, Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg, named him Bishop of Livonia, provided that he could conquer and hold it, and convince the pagan inhabitants to become Christians. The patent was granted 28 March 1199, and by the beginning of spring 1200 he embarked with a Baltic fleet of 23 vessels and more than 1,500 armed crusaders. He had the support of the Hohenstaufen German King, Philip of Swabia, and the more distant blessing of Pope Innocent III.

Together with merchants from the Baltic island of Gotland, Albert founded Riga in 1201, where a small community of Hanseatic traders from Lübeck held a tentative trading encampment. He successfully converted many Livs under their leader Caupo, offering them protection against neighboring......
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