Estonian history

Estonian beliefs and rituals carried on by Jaanipäev

Along with Christmas, Jaaniõhtu (Midsummer Eve – 23 June) and Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day, St John’s Day – 24 June) are the most important holidays in the Estonian calendar – people around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate with singing, dancing and lighting the bonfires, as …

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An exhibition about communist crimes opens in Tallinn

The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory opened an exhibition about the international crimes of communism at the former Patarei prison in Tallinn. The exhibition, “Communism is Prison”, educates visitors on the ideology and international crimes of communism as well as giving hindsight into the history of the former Patarei prison …

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30 pictures of the Soviet-era street scenes in Tallinn

Estonian World takes a glimpse into an increasingly forgotten era – the street scenes of the Soviet Union-occupied Estonia (1944-1991) and, specifically, the country’s capital Tallinn at the time. The Hungarian-made Ikarus bus was the backbone of the Tallinn public transport system in the 1970s and 80s, all the way …

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Queen Margrethe to visit Estonia for the 800th anniversary of the Danish flag

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will pay a visit to Estonia in June, in conjunction with the 800th anniversary of the Danish flag that has a mythical connection to Tallinn, the Estonian capital. The Danish legend says the country got its flag, known as the Dannebrog, during the battle that took …

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An exhibition about fine arts and fashion inspired by the Soviet era opens in Tallinn

A new exhibition has opened at the Kumu art museum in Tallinn about the socialist art of the 1970s and 1980s in fine arts and the post-Soviet aesthetic of the 2010s in fashion. 21 July 1940. Estonians lose their freedom to the Soviet Union. Besides the restrictions that came upon …

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Lennart Meri, the president many loved, and everybody respected

Today, the former president and foreign minister, Lennart Meri, would’ve celebrated his 90th birthday; a Statesman with a capital S, he’s one of the founding fathers of the Estonian post-occupation success story, and one of the politicians in Estonia that everybody truly respected. My best friend celebrates his birthday on …

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A hundred facts about Estonia

As a gift for Estonia’s centenary on 24 February 2018, Estonian World compiled, with the help of its co-authors, a list of a hundred facts about the country – some known, but some perhaps even surprising.* 1. Estonia has one of the lowest population densities in the world (28 per …

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Book introduction – “My Formative Years”, by Johan Pitka

“My Formative Years” is an autobiography of a famous Estonian military commander, Sir Johan Pitka (1872-1944); first published in the 1930s Estonia, it has now been translated into English, and talks about Pitka’s “golden years” of youth.  Pitka is one of the most famous Estonian historical and military figures. He led the Estonian …

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: the Nazis murdered, among others, a promising Estonian painter

Among the 7,000 Estonians murdered by the Nazis was a promising Fauvist painter Karl Pärsimägi. Education is lacking in some compartments in Estonia. While there’s plenty of information about the Soviet crimes committed during the occupation of Estonia – and justifiably so – there are sadly still many people who …

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