The biggest in Baltics – KUMU

Did you know that KUMU has been awarded the title of European Museum of the Year 2008?

The words KUnst and MUuseum have yielded KUMU, which has several further meanings in Estonian: reverberation, hearsay and sensation. The architectural masterpiece by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori houses Estonia’s largest art museum.

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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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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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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 all-time longest …

Did you know that the world’s all-time longest wrestling match, lasting 11 hours and 40 minutes, was held by Estonian Martin Klein and Finn Alfred Asikainen at the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912?

The match between Klein and Asikainen in the under-75kg finals (which consisted of three participants) began at 10:30 in the morning and ended at 10:10 at night with Martin Klein’s victory. Neither Klein nor Asikainen were capable of continuing the match, and so the Swede Claes Johanson, the third to make it to the finals, became the Olympic champion. Martin Klein is shown in a white singlet.

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Tallinn Music Week

Did you know that Estonian music is far from being only classical, folk or choral music?

It also includes a vibrant and varied pop and rock scene with interesting acts from all possible genres. Since 2009 almost 1000 Estonian artists have set the stage at Tallinn Music Week to perform for local audiences and foreign press & industry specialists. Both ambitions and contact networks of new up-and-coming artists have rapidly grown these past years. Due to that more and more Estonian acts find their way and perform abroad to introduce their music and tell their story.

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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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The only magazine in USSR

Did you know that from 1958, the only home decorating magazine, Art and Home (Kunst ja Kodu) Almanac, was published in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic?

The Almanac addressed in great detail issues that were related to new homes, mostly small flats, including coverage of their layout and decoration. The publication of ideas by prized interior decorators’ included recommendations for making one’s home as practical and beautiful as possible.

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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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