Historical and old photos of Valka (german - Walk)
The town of Walk (in German) was first mentioned in 1286 and from 1419 was the seat of the Landtag of the Livonian Confederation. City rights were granted by the Polish-Lithuanian king Stefan Batory in 1584. However, the town gained its importance only at the end of the 19th century when the Vidzeme teacher's seminary was operating here, and the important railway junction was developed. Furthermore, the first narrow-gauge railway line in the territory of modern Latvia was stretched from Valka to Estonian city of Pärnu.
On November 15, 1917 the decision to proclaim the independent Republic of Latvia was made in Valka. The red-white-red flag of Latvia was raised here for the first time. On July 1, 1920 the town was divided between the newly-born Latvian and Estonian states.