Jūrmala is a city in Latvia, about 25km west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33km stretch of white-sand beach, and a population of 56,646, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia.While Latvia was part of the Soviet Union, Jūrmala was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials, particularly Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. Although it has many amenities such as beach-houses and concrete hotels remain, some have fallen into disrepair. Jūrmala remains a tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in the Art Nouveau style.In publications dating from the Soviet period, the city name was occasionally spelled in English as Yurmala, a back-transliteration from Russian.HistoryThe city of Jūrmala actually consists of a string of small resorts. From west to east, these include Ķemeri, Jaunķemeri, Sloka, Kauguri, Vaivari, Asari, Melluži, Pumpuri, Jaundubulti, Dubulti, Majori, Dzintari, Bulduri and Lielupe.