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

Where meteorites drop down

Did you know that the first scientifically proven meteorite impact craters in Europe are located in Estonia?

Here, meteorite impact craters number approximately 400 times the average on Earth. Saaremaa has Estonia’s biggest natural rarity, the Kaali Crater, the meteorite origin of which was the first to be proven in Europe and the second in the world after the Arizona craters in the United States.

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Estonian sumo wrestler in Japan

Did you know that one of the most famous sumo wrestlers in Japan is the Estonian Kaido Höövelson?

Kaido Höövelson (sumo wrestler name: Baruto Kaito 把瑠都 凱斗,meaning “Man from the Baltic States” and also “Balti Sea”) is the first Estonian to become a professional sumo wrestler in Japan. Kaido went to Japan in 2004 and accomplished a meteoric rise to the level of ōzeki in 2010, winning the hearts of millions of fans in the process. Kaido, who ended his sumo career due to a knee injury, hosts guests in his native homeland at Barto Guest House in Lääne-Viru County and organises trips to Estonia through the travel agency Barto Tours.

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The world’s oldest Viking ship

Did you know that the world’s oldest Viking ship was discovered in the small town of Salme in Saaremaa in the autumn of 2008?

Dating from the first half of the 7th century, the sailboat is the oldest both in the Baltic Sea region and the world.

If you do not have a sailboat yet, have the islanders build one for you. Saaremaa’s harbours are waiting.

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Tallinn University of Technology

Did you know that Erasmus exchange students picked Estonia as their No 1 European country in which to continue their studies? Tallinn University of Technology is the most international university in Estonia. In 2013, TUT had a total of 1,170 international students (both degree and international students).

Tallinn University of Technology is the only technology university in Estonia and the flagship of engineering and technology education in Estonia. It is at TUT that synergies are generated between engineering and the exact, life, health and social sciences, giving birth to new ideas.

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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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The first refracting telescope

Did you know that the world’s first modern refracting telescope is housed in the Tartu Observatory? By using it, the distance of Earth from another star was determined for the first time.

This Fraunhofer refractor was purchased for the Observatory in 1824, and its setup, or design, became immediately known as the “German structure” around the world. From 1824 to 1839, it was the world’s biggest and best telescope of this type, and with minor modifications would enjoy general use for another hundred years.

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Extremely endangered species

Did you know that the only place in the world to have succeeded in propagating and preserving three extremely endangered fern species from the island of Kaua’i (Hawaiian Islands) is Tallinn Botanic Garden?

There, you can enjoy one of the biggest plant collections in the Baltic States.

Once a year, the Queen of the Night entrances visitors with its beauty.

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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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Hotel Viru and the KGB

Did you know that once upon a time, there was a hotel called Viru.

The year was 1972 and a little less than 20 years remained until the end of the Soviet era. The hotel for foreigners also had to suit the national security body – the KGB …

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