Liepāja is a city in western Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea directly at 21°E. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region and the third largest city in the country after Riga and Daugavpils. It is an important ice-free port, although its harbour is not deep. In 1875 its population was 10,000 As of 1 July 2011, Liepāja had a population of 83,500.
In the 19th and early 20th century it was a favourite place for sea-bathers with the town boasting a fine park and many pretty gardens, and a theatre. Liepāja is however known throughout Latvia as "City where the wind is born", likely because of the constant sea breeze. A song of the same name (Latvian: "Pilsētā, kurā piedzimst vējš") was composed by Imants Kalniņš and has become the anthem of the city. Its reputation as the windiest city in Latvia was strengthened with the construction of the largest wind farm in the nation (33 Enercon wind turbines) nearby.
The Coat of Arms of Liepāja was adopted four days after the jurisdiction gained city rights on 18 March 1625. These are described as: "on a silver background, the lion of Courland with a divided tail, who leans upon a linden (Latvian: Liepa) tree with its forelegs." The flag of Liepāja has the coat of arms in the center, with red in the top half and green in the bottom.
Liepāja enjoys a semi-continental climate noted as "Dfb" in the Köppen classification. The major factor influencing the weather in the region is the Baltic Sea, providing a relatively mild winter for its high latitude (although snowy) and a relatively cool summer. During the winter the sea around Liepāja is virtually ice-free. Although occasionally some land-fast ice may develop, it seldom reaches a hundred meters from the shore and does not last long before melting. The sea warms up fully only in the beginning of August, so the best bathing season in Liepāja is from August to September. Summers are more affected by the marine climate than east-facing cities on similar latitudes in opposite Sweden, but winters are milder than inland areas to the east. Regular meteorological observations in the city have been conducted from 1857.
Liepāja is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea in the south-western part of Latvia. The westernmost geographical point of Latvia is located approximately 15 km (9 mi) to the south thus making Liepāja Latvia's furthest west city. Liepāja is situated between the Baltic Sea and Liepāja Lake with residential and industrial areas spreading north of the lake. The Trade Channel (Tirdzniecības kanāls) connects the lake to the sea dividing the city into southern and northern parts, which are often referred to as the Old Town (Vecliepāja) and the New Town (Jaunliepāja) respectively. The city center is located in the southern part and, although called the Old Town, is relatively more developed. Most of the administrative and cultural buildings are found here as well as the main leisure areas. Along the coast the city extends northwards until it reaches the Karosta Channel (Karostas kanāls). North of the Karosta Channel is an area called Karosta which is now fully integrated into Liepāja and is the northernmost district of the city. Liepāja's coastline consists of an unbroken sandy beach and dunes as does most of Latvia's coastline. The beach of Liepāja is not as exploited as other places (e.g. the Gulf of Riga, Jūrmala and Pärnu in Estonia) but also lacks the tourist infrastructure needed for a fashionable, modern resort.
85,345 inhabitants in 2007, Liepāja is the third-largest city in Latvia. Its population has declined since the withdrawal of Soviet military forces; the last of which left in 1994. In addition, many ethnic Russians, emigrated to Russia in 1991–2000. More recent causes include economic migration to western European countries after Latvia joined the EU in 2004, and lower birth rates.
According to the 2017 census, ethnic Latvians make up 55.5% of the population of Liepāja (in comparison, the proportion of native Latvians nationwide is 62.1%). Ethnic Russians make up 30.3% of the population.