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.

Read more

Stories of Estonia

Aphrodisiacs, arousing love and passion

Did you know that orchids in Estonian folk tradition are known for being aphrodisiacs, arousing love and passion?

Orchids are thought to symbolise allure, resilience, and rare and fragile beauty. They are the subject of numerous legends and beliefs to this day. Common spotted-orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii.

Read more

The historical settlements of Tallinn

Did you know that there are more settlements within the 8 urban districts of Tallinn than in London or in Paris?

There 84 historical settlements in Tallinn, 35 in London and 75 in Paris. During the early period of its formation, Tallinn evolved as the twin cities of Toompea and the Lower Town, with both having their own legislation and governing body until 1878. The more complete of the 84 settlements today include the Old Town, the City Centre, Kadriorg, Pirita, Kalamaja, Rocca al Mare and Nõmme. Each of them has preserved the atmosphere and distinctive character of its era.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

HeadRead

Did you know that a famous British crime writer is not fazed by Estonia’s climate?

And that’s not all – he helps to organise a literary festival in Estonia.

Read more

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.

Read more

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).

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more