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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Extremely endangered species

Did you know that the only place in the world to have succeeded in propagating and preserving three extremely endangered fern species from the island of Kaua’i (Hawaiian Islands) is Tallinn Botanic Garden?

There, you can enjoy one of the biggest plant collections in the Baltic States.

Once a year, the Queen of the Night entrances visitors with its beauty.

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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.

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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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Venice in Tartu

Did you know that you can come across a bit of Venice in Tartu?

In the City of Tartu, more than anywhere else, glass goblets with high-level enamel paintings, so-called Venetian goblets, have been found.

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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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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.

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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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16th-century theme park year-round

Did you know that a 16th-century theme park operates at Rakvere Castle year-round? In 2013, it was visited by more than 100,000 people.

At Rakvere Castle, you can have a horseback ride, practice archery, order mediaeval feasts, or hold corporate summer events, weddings or birthdays.

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