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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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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One city in two countries

Did you know that Estonia has a city that spans more than one country? That city is Valga / Valka. We share the city amicably with Latvia.

Valga in the early 20th century

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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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Peaceful place for great Russians

Did you know that for centuries world-famous figures from Russian culture and society have enjoyed spending time in peaceful Estonia?

Andrei Tarkovsky shot his Stalker in Tallinn, Piotr Tchaikovsky went on holidays to Haapsalu, Fyodor Dostoyevsky nurtured his health in ‘Revel’s baths’, Pushkin’s great-grandfather Abraham Hannibal taught mathematics in Pärnu, and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote The Gulag Archipelago in his friend’s home outside Tartu. Of the various possessions of his state, Peter I, Russia’s first Emperor, it is Estonia that he visited most often.

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The most advanced in Europe

Did you know that in 1937 the radio transmitting station with the most advanced antenna tower in Europe stood in the small town of Türi in Estonia?

The tower was commissioned from the United States company Electric Transmission LTD, which under the contract was supposed to make the parts of the tower at the plant of its British subsidiary, transport them to Estonia and assemble them at Türi. Assembly of the antenna tower was completed by the British firm I. L. Eve Construction Company Ltd. as a subcontractor.

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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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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 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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