Estonia

The capital of Estonia can be found on which body of water?

And the answer: the Gulf of Finland.

Photo courtesy: Encyclopedia Britannica

Estonia's capital is the city of Tallinn, located on the Gulf of Finland about 80 km across the water from Helsinki, Finland. Throughout history, Estonia has been governed by different authorities, including Sweden and Russia, but declared independence in 1991. Estonia currently has more start-ups per person than most other European countries.

Estonia is a nation that always seems to surprise you. This northern European country is located on the Baltic Sea, and bordered by Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. Interestingly, while the official capital city is considered to be Tallinn, it's been said that the country rotates capitals throughout the year – Tartu is considered the cultural capital, while Parnu is known as the summer capital, with many popular beaches.

Photo credit: © Tabo/Shutterstock.com. 

When it comes to their borders with Russia, things get a little weird. To this day, many maps in Estonia still include the areas of East Narva, or Ivanograd, as well as the south Petseri region – all regions which were originally annexed by Russia. This creates strange border disparities like the longest transboundary lake in Europe (Lake Peipus), and a city somewhat evenly halved between Estonia and Russia (known as the Saatse Boot).

In the wintertime, when the Baltic freezes over, Estonia gains the world's longest ice road. Traveling from the mainland to Hiiuma island in the west, the road operates only between January and March, when the ice is thickest.

While Estonia is small, it is packed with culture. Over the centuries it has been subject to the rule of many groups, including the Danes, Swedes, Germans and Russians. That is, until 1991, when Estonia gained independence from Russia by means of singing. Yes, you read that right: in 1987, Estonia was the first Soviet Republic to defy the Soviet army by gathering in huge crowds and singing Estonian national songs (an act that was, at the time, illegal). With little bloodshed, Estonia eventually gained their independence. As such, it may come as no surprise that Estonia is home to the largest collection of written folk songs out of any country in the world – about 133,000.

Learn more about this small but mighty country here.


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