Estonia

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                                               Estonia Eesti

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The quick travel guide to Estonia and Tallinn

Introduction

Estonia is a small country in northern Europe, it has borders with Russia to the east and Latvia to the south, The Baltic Sea lies to the east and The Gulf of Finland to the north. Estonia covers 45,227 sq km in area and the countryside is mostly flat and rather rocky interspersed with around 1500 lakes. The highest point is on 318 m above sea level. 

The population is only 1.49 m and consists of 62% Estonians, 30% Russians, 3% Ukrainian and 3% are from Belorussia and Finland. The official language is Estonian but many people are bi or tri- lingual. Tallinn, on the north coast, is the capital and largest city with a population of 490,000. In January 2011, Estonia gave up the Kroon, its traditional currency, and adopted the Euro. 

Estonia is divided into 15 counties. Each county is further divided into municipalities, which is also the smallest administrative subdivision of Estonia. Notable cities within Estonia are Tartu, population 102,000 and Narva, population 69,000. 

 

The settlement of modern day Estonia began around 8500 BC, immediately after the Ice Age. Over the centuries, the Estonians were subjected to Danish, Teutonic, Swedish and Russian rule. Foreign rule in Estonia began in 1227. In the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade the area was conquered by Danes and Germans. From 12281562, parts or most of Estonia were incorporated into a crusader state Terra Mariana, that became part of the Ordensstaat, and after its decline was formed the Livonian Confederation. During the era economic activities centered around the Hanseatic League. In the 1500s Estonia passed to Swedish rule, under which it remained until 1721, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire.

Estonia regained its independence on August 20, 1991. It has since embarked on a rapid programme of social and economic reform. It joined the EU in May, 2004. Today, the country has gained recognition for its economic freedom, its adaptation of new technologies and was one of the world's fastest growing economies for several years. However, Estonia's economy was second worst hit of all 27 European Union members in the 20082009 economic crisis, contracting sharply in the first quarter of 2009.

 

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