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

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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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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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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Space-faring nation

Did you know that Estonia is a space-faring nation?

Completed as a result of collaboration between the University of Tartu and Tartu Observatory, the ESTCube-1 student satellite flew into orbit on board Vega, the newest launcher of the European Space Agency (ESA) on 7 May 2013.

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The Kingdom within the Republic

Did you know that the Kingdom of Setomaa lies Estonia’s southeast corner?

Living where East meets West, Seto people also call themselves the King’s people or a vool (free) people. The country is ruled by Peko, the Seto fertility god. On the first Saturday of August, King Peko calls together his people in Setomaa from everywhere and the Seto Kingdom is visited by the President of the Republic of Estonia, who is received by the ülembsootśka.

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Estonian sumo wrestler in Japan

Did you know that one of the most famous sumo wrestlers in Japan is the Estonian Kaido Höövelson?

Kaido Höövelson (sumo wrestler name: Baruto Kaito 把瑠都 凱斗,meaning “Man from the Baltic States” and also “Balti Sea”) is the first Estonian to become a professional sumo wrestler in Japan. Kaido went to Japan in 2004 and accomplished a meteoric rise to the level of ōzeki in 2010, winning the hearts of millions of fans in the process. Kaido, who ended his sumo career due to a knee injury, hosts guests in his native homeland at Barto Guest House in Lääne-Viru County and organises trips to Estonia through the travel agency Barto Tours.

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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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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).

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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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