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

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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Let´s Do It, World!

Did you know that Estonia has inspired millions of people in more than 100 countries to clean up their countries?

A small group of Estonian activists started a movement called “Let’s Do It!”. The aim of the action was to clean up Estonia in just one day from the illegal rubbish lying everywhere!

On 3 May 2008, more than 50,000 people (approximately 4% of the population of Estonia) came together, and the entire country was cleaned up in just five hours!

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The fifth season

Did you know that about one-fifth of all land in Estonia is covered by mires? In terms of the abundance of natural mires, we rank third in the world, after Finland and Canada.

The fifth season or high water happens in low-lying wetland areas in spring, mostly in April, when large quantities of water from melting snow pour into the valleys and lowlands. Then you can only get around without getting your feet wet if you use small watercraft or haabjad (dugouts).

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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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Oil shale and jelly lollies

Did you know that oil shale and jelly lollies both share a common origin in algae?

Estonia’s oil shale or kukersite was created 450 to 460 million years ago by algae deposited at the bottom of a shallow sea.

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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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Major trading and harbour site

Did you know that Tallinn was one of the major trading and harbour sites in all of Northern Europe and on the Baltic Sea as early as the Iron Age, linking the broad expanses of Russia with Scandinavia and Central Europe?

The trade route passing through Tallinn ran all the way to the Black Sea from the time before the Hanseatic League. It is thanks to the sea lanes and trade routes that a port evolved there and the Old Town of Tallinn sprang up. Historically, Tallinn has been closely linked to Europe since the 13th century, belonging in the Hanseatic League (1285) and having close ties to the Lübeck, the capital of the League.

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Sport is good

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!

Competing is within everyone’s powers! For example mosquito catching is gaining popularity as a sport. In 2011, Estonia even hosted the World Championships in this event. In this event, everyone can set records – whoever catches the most mosquitoes in two minutes wins!

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The miracle substance Panis Martius

Did you know that the oldest continuously operating café in Tallinn is Café Maiasmokk?

In 1806, the Swiss confectioner Lorenz Caviezel set up his confectioner’s workshop and shop front in the same location. In 1864, the business was bought by the Baltic German confectioner Georg Stude, who joined it to the building on the adjacent lot. It began to produce hand-crafted marzipan figurines and chocolate sweets and cakes, and a café was opened. It is like that to this day.

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