Valmiera is the largest city of the historical Vidzeme region, Latvia, with a total area of 18.1km². As of 2002, Valmiera had a population of 27,323, and in 2017 – 24,818.Valmiera lies at the crossroads of several important roads, 100km to the north-east from Riga, the capital of Latvia, and 50km south of the border with Estonia. Valmiera lies on both banks of the Gauja River.Names and etymologyThe name was derived from the Old German given name Waldemar or the Slavic name Vladimir. The town may have been named after the kniaz of the Principality of Pskov Vladimir Mstislavich who became a vassal of Albert of Riga in 1212 and for a short time was a vogt of Tālava, Ydumea and Autīne. Another version, it may have been named after the King of Denmark Valdemar II who allied with the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in Livonian Crusade. In the second half of 13th century Livonian Order built a castle which they called Wolmar in German. During the Livonian War the town was known in Russian as Володимерец (Volodimirec), but during the period of the Russian Empire it was known as Вольмар.