A key to
Estonia

For millennia, Tallinn has been a gateway between East and West. Sokos Hotel Estoria is like a key that opens up phenomenon called Estonia. It is a unique and cosy business class hotel that provides high-quality service, opportunity to rest, relax, and learn something interesting about Estonia at the same time.

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Stories of Estonia

A mediaeval sepulchre in Tartu

Did you know that a mediaeval sepulchre may be visited in Tartu?

It all began in 2008, when archaeologist Martin Malve was investigating the cultural layer amongst the ruins of the Dome Cathedral and found a mediaeval tombstone.

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“Diplômes d’honneur” at the World Exposition

Did you know that the artist Adamson-Eric was awarded two certificates of merit for his porcelain painting and carpets, known as “diplômes d’honneur”, at the 1937 World Exposition?

Adamson-Eric (1902-1968) was an Estonian artist and designer, who created both applied art and Paris-inspired paintings. As an artist, he drew inspiration from everywhere in Europe: France, Italy, Greece, the South of France, Spain, Norway and Finland.

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From Peter I with love

Did you know that if Peter I had conquered Tallinn as early as 1703, St Petersburg would not have been built?

At the behest of Peter I, an Italianate Baroque palace and garden, something that was unique in the Nordic countries, was built at Kadriorg as a summer residence for the czars. In addition to the renowned Italian architect, Nicola Michetti, Czar Peter I was personally involved in the design of the palace. The entire palace and the park that surrounds it bears the name of the czar’s consort, Catherine I.

In the twentieth century, the palace was the home of the first president of the Republic of Estonia, and for some decades afterwards it belonged to the Art Museum of Estonia. Currently, the palace houses exhibits which showcase Western European art, with the highlights being a collection of art from the Low Countries, a collection of Germany prints, and Russian art from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

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Black Nights Films

Did you know that Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinna Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival in Estonian or PÖFF for short) is in an elite category of 50 A-category film festivals in the world?

The wolf symbol takes on a multidimensional meaning during the period from November to December: according to the traditions of the Nordic countries, it is the time of reincarnation.

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Your and our Tallinn

Did you know that the oldest capital city in the Baltic Sea region was in fact mostly inhabited and ruled by foreigners – Danes, Germans, Swedes, Russians – from the 13th to the 19th centuries, and Estonians could only begin to claim Tallinn as their own city from the 1920s?

There were most likely earlier Estonian settlements during the 11th and 12th centuries on the present day location of Tallinn – Estonian clans used the area of what is now the Tallinn as a marketplace, and they utilised the natural harbour and maintained a wooden fortress on Toompea hill. 1154 – Tallinn is first mentioned in historic records by Arab cartographer al-Idrisi (Tallinn as Qlwr, Kolyvan, Koluvan, Kalewen by Lindanäs/Lyndanise)

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The lake formed by the tears of a woman

Did you know that there is a lake right beside Tallinn Airport that was formed by the tears of a woman?

One of the best known sites of tradition is Linda’s Stone in Lake Ülemiste, dropped by Linda – mother of Estonians’ mythical national hero, the strongman Kalevipoeg – who shed a lake of tears around it.

Tallinn, which presses up against the lake, however, must never be completed – or else, the Old Man of Ülemiste living in the lake will flood the whole city. Estonia’s landscape abounds in wonderful and interesting stories, which you can learn more about at the Estonian Folklore Archives or by using the various databases compiled by folklorists, which are available at www.folklore.ee/ebaas.

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Best of Jazz – Jazzkaar

Did you know that the biggest jazz festival in the Baltic States has been going a year longer than the Republic of Estonia’s renewed period of independence? Jazzkaar has been held since 1990; Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991.

Performers at Jazzkaar have won a grand total of over ninety Grammys over the years! The highest number of Grammys, twenty, have been won by the guitar king Pat Metheny, who was also the featured performer at the Jazzkaar anniversary in 2014.

www.jazzkaar.ee

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The trade all the way to Arabia

Did you know that trade in goods on the Gulf of Finland has been going on as long ago as prehistoric times, reaching all the way to Arabia?

The ancient trade in goods is suggested by silver hoards found in our soil. Present-day architecture is testimony to the bootleg spirits that enriched coastal folk in the early 20th century.

In the early 20th century, prohibition was in effect in Finland, the USSR, Iceland, Norway, Hungary and the United States. All those countries saw the trade of illegal alcohol flourish. The smuggling that spread on the Gulf of Finland resulted in an improvement in the standard of living for coastal folk in both Estonia and Finland.

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Tahe Outdoors

Did you know that one of the biggest kayak, canoe and paddling equipment manufacturers in Europe is Estonian?

The Estonian kayak manufacturer Tahe Outdoors operates under five different brand names and has a sales network that covers more than 35 countries worldwide. Their kayaks are well known and prized all over the world. The development and production of these kayaks takes place here, in Estonia, using the most advanced technology and the best materials available.

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