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

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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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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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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Impressions about Estonia

Impressions about Estonia from Erasmus programme and degree students – opinions forwarded to Study in Estonia.

Godswill, Nigeria: Estonia was so awesome, good friends, good people, caring, loving and helpful. Every day was a plus towards my career goal.

Carlos, Bogotá: Fascinating. Interesting, challenging. Demanding. Enriching. Time-consuming. Culturally aware. Multicultural.

Adrienne, USA: The benefits of studying in Estonia for me are difficult to summarise. I changed as a student but, even more so, as a human being.

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The model for the world – Luscher & Matiesen

Did you know that in the 1930s the model for the world’s juice industry was set by the fresh juices made by Luscher & Matiesen in Tallinn?

In 1934, Dimitri Matiesen began to produce unfermented and unpasteurised fruit and berry juice for his uncle’s winery. In 1936, a congress on unfermented juices was held in Berlin, with 22 countries participating and the world’s renowned experts and specialist researchers repeatedly citing Luscher & Matiesen’s achievements as an example for others.

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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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More than just a theatre

Did you know that the only opera and ballet house named after the country is the Estonian National Opera (Rahvusooper Estonia in Estonian)!

The building of the Estonian National Opera has always been more than just a theatre and a concert hall for the people of Estonia. On 23 April 1919, the first Estonian Parliament – the Estonian Constituent Assembly – assembled in the concert hall of the “Estonia” theatre.

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James Bonds camera from Estonia

Did you know that the world’s most famous mini camera, Minox, was invented in Estonia?

The story of the invention of the mini camera dates to the World War II Estonia where the inventor of the camera, a Baltic German by the name of Walter Zapp, lived as a young man.

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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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