Taste of Europe: Estonia


Julia Kaiser, Writer

The Republic of Estonia is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to Finland by the Gulf of Finland, to Sweden by the Baltic Sea, and directly to Latvia and Russia. Estonia has 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea. The country is the least populous state of the European Union. Almost 50% of its territory is covered with forests and 22% is under agriculture. Estonia receives more tourists each year than its population.

Tallinn is the biggest city and capital of Estonia, on the southern coast of the Fuld of Finland. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. The city is divided into different districts. The main attractions are located in the Old Town of Tallinn. One part of the Old Town is All-lin or the Lower Town. There you can find the Town Hall Square and the city wall, a defensive wall around the city. There are also two towers, called “Fat Margaret”  and “Kiek in de Kök”. The other part is Toompea or the Upper Town. This part has always been the seat of whatever power that has ruled Estonia. The Toompea castle is housing the Estonian Parliament today. Another important building is the Lutheran St. Mary’s Cathedrale, also known as the Dome Church. There was a labyrinth of 17th-century tunnels found under the churches in Tallinn, Old Town, which is opened to the public since 2010. Saint Olav’s Church, one of the sixteen is probably the most unlucky one. It has been hit by lightning at least eight times and burned down three times. The second biggest city is Tartu, often referred to as the intellectual capital of Estonia.

The Culture of Estonia is greatly influenced by other nations, such as Finland, Sweden, or Russia. They celebrate their independence twice a year, on February 24th and August 20th. Estonian’s students have access to free education and all schools are connected to the internet. Estonia has some interesting holidays and competition. The wife-carrying competition is every year. The male contestants have to carry their wives and run through an obstacle course in the least amount of time possible.