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

One city in two countries

Did you know that Estonia has a city that spans more than one country? That city is Valga / Valka. We share the city amicably with Latvia.

Valga in the early 20th century

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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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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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Traditional and unique housing

Did you know that Estonians’ traditional housing is unique in the world?

The mighty building, merging with nature, accommodated nearly the entirety of a farmer’s household under the one roof; it is not without reason that the popular designation of a farmhouse was multivalent: elu (life). Outside Estonia, this kind of distinctive dwelling is only common in the areas of the former Governorate of Livonia, in North Latvia.

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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 highest in Northern Europe

Do you know what it feels like to dangle your feet sitting on the edge of a roof at a height of 175 meters?

Tallinn TV Tower, which is 314 metres high, sports the highest outdoor terrace in Northern Europe at 175 metres. You can also stroll along the edge of the roof of the TV Tower.

On a fine day, you can see Helsinki, 80 kilometres from Tallinn. For Estonians, the Soviet occupation symbolised the impossibility of seeing the free Europe.

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Sport fanatics

Did you know that Estonians are sport fanatics?

Estonians believe that sport is good, and great athletes always draw much public attention in these parts. Yes, both special sport stars and special sport events are held in esteem in Estonia!

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The world’s oldest variety of rye grown

Did you know that the world’s oldest variety of rye grown and cultivated to this day comes from Sangaste in Southern Estonia?

In 1875, Count Friedrich Georg Magnus von Berg, Lord of Sangaste Manor, bred a new variety of winter rye.  Frost-hardy, with long stalks and good yields, “Sangaste” won the Grand Prix at the World Exposition in Paris in 1889 and continues to be grown and cultivated to this day. Sangaste is Estonia’s rye village, and its gates open to visitors year-round.

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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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