Estonia is about to grow a little taller

Estonia is about to grow a little taller as the country prepares to abandon the previously used Kronstadt tide gauge for measuring heights above the sea level and switch to the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum used in Western Europe.

The change goes into effect on New Year’s Day 2018, and as the difference between the Kronstadt tide gauge and the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum can be as big as 15-24 centimetres (six to 9.5 inches), official elevations across the country will also have to be changed.

In layman’s terms this means that the highest peak in Estonia, Suur Munamägi, will officially be 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) taller than now, measuring at 317.4 metres (1,041 feet) above sea level.

The Kronstadt tide gauge, based in St Petersburg, is used in Russia and most other countries that were either occupied by the Soviet Union or came under its sphere of influence during or after the Second World War.

The Amsterdam Ordnance Datum is used across Western Europe. It was originally created for use in the Netherlands, but in 1955, also other European countries started to use it to define the sea level.

The change will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s declaration of independence.


Cover: Illustration of the watchtower on Suur Munamägi (the image is illustrative.)

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at