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

Open Air Museum

Did you know that Tallinn has one of Estonia’s oldest wooden churches?

Located at the Estonian Open Air Museum, Sutlepa Chapel is one of two wooden churches to have survived in Estonia from Swedish times. Originally located in the Village of Sutlepa in Lääne County, the chapel is mentioned in archival sources as early as 1627, while the year on the outside of the door frame is 1699.

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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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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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A cousin of the Eiffel Tower in Hiiumaa

Did you know that Tahkuna Lighthouse is a cousin of the Eiffel Tower in Paris?

Russia commissioned Tahkuna Lighthouse based on what had been seen at the 1871 World Exposition in Paris. The cast-iron plates of the enclosure were cast in Paris in 1873/1874 and were subsequently erected on a small island named Hiiumaa, which at the time was under the control of imperial Russia. It was said that some parts of the lighthouse were manufactured by the company that also produced the Eiffel Tower.

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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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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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When a child talks?

Did you know that a child talks when a chicken takes a pee?

In times gone by, a well-behaved child had first and foremost to be quiet and polite. What have young artists aged between just fourteen and nineteen got to say these days?

Tallinn plays host to Eksperimenta!, a unique triennial of contemporary art by school-age youngsters.

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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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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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