Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". It is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some 230 kilometres (143 miles) to its north-west. Daugavpils is located relatively close to Belarus and Lithuania (distances of 33 km (21 mi) and 25 km (16 mi) respectively), and some 120 km (75 mi) from the Latvian border with Russia. Daugavpils is a major railway junction and industrial centre and lies approximately midway between Riga and Minsk.
The city is surrounded by many lakes and nature parks. It is also known for its overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population.