What to See in Estonia

By | July 18, 2022

Many medieval castles remain in Estonia from the era of the German knights. Most of them have survived to our times only in the form of ruins. The most popular among tourists and the most outstanding are the Tallinn and Narva castles. Tallinn Castle

known as Toompea. This is one of the oldest architectural complexes in Estonia. The building occupies approximately 9060 square meters of area, today the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia is located here. The castle was built in the 13th-14th centuries on a steep hillside of Toompea, at an altitude of 50 m above sea level. Of greatest interest is the fortress wall surrounding the castle, at the corners of which there are two fortification towers. The highest (48 m) and noticeable even a few kilometers before entering the city is “Pikk Hermann” (Long German). The tower owes its name to the glorious hero of medieval legends, whose name can also be translated as “long warrior” or “leader”. Today, the Estonian national flag flies at the top of the tower, located on the banks of the river of the same name near the ancient trade route to Nizhny Novgorod. It was founded by the Danes, who controlled the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland in the 13th century, and served as a refuge for them from attacks by local residents. Now the Narva Museum is located here.

According to Top-mba-universities, Estonia.Rakvere Castle was built in 1226. The castle was the most powerful stronghold in northern Estonia for centuries and an important administrative center. Today, there is a historical museum on the territory of the castle, where you can visit a torture chamber, a death room, a chapel, a room with weapons and armor, a hall of the history of the Livonian Order, a refectory, a wine cellar and a master’s hall. In the courtyard of the castle there are: a shooting cannon, carts with hay, grazing lambs, a siege tower, targets that can be shot with a bow, and other items of medieval life. There is also a forge in the courtyard, where visitors can personally forge a horseshoe or a nail.

Haapsalu Castle has been the residence of the Läänemaa (Western) Bishop since 1279. This castle is associated with the legend of the most famous ghost in Estonia. – The White Lady. It is believed that the woman, whose ghost walks around the castle and its surroundings, was walled up in the castle wall after the inquisition process and is still one of the mysteries of Haapsalu.

The island of Saaremaa also has its own castle – Kuressaare Castle. It was built in the middle of the 13th century. This is one of the few well-preserved architectural monuments in the Baltic countries. In the Middle Ages, the castle was the main outpost of the Livonian Knights in the fight against the peasants of the island and pirates. From 1559 to 1645, the castle belonged to the Danes, who surrounded it with new fortifications – ramparts and bastions. That is why the castle is so well preserved.

South Estonia has its own unique landscape with many forested hills and many lakes. The Ottepaa region is suitable for skiing in winter and for relaxing on the lakes in summer. Ottepa is located 42 km from the city of Tartu. In winter, vacationers can ride from 9 hills with slalom tracks.

The Estonian province of Virumaa is considered one of the most historically interesting regions of Estonia.. A trip around Virumaa includes a visit to the Observation Tower and the memorial cross in Sinimäe; Oru Landscape Park; Fire Museum in Toila; Church of Puhay; the highest waterfall in the country – Valaste (25 m); Purtse fortress; Funeral Park of the Victims of Evil in Hiyemägi; the Kyrkküla cross in honor of the Russian prince Roslandin, who died during the Russo-Swedish war; the picturesque valley and the historic town of Padaorg; Maritime School and Museum in Käsmu; the historic town of Rakvere with the Wiesenberg Fortress; fortified churches in Väike-Maarja with the graves of the Kruzenshtern family; the singing sands of the Smolnitsa dunes and, of course, the only functioning Orthodox monastery in Estonia – the Pyhtitsa convent.

Translated from Estonian, Pyukhtitsa means “holy place”, and it is not for nothing that these places have long evoked reverence and sacred awe among the inhabitants. According to legend, in ancient times there was a sanctuary of pagan Estonians here. The monastery has a rich history, until recently it belonged to the Patriarch of All Russia. In the monastery you can see the patriarch’s cell, visit the monastery museum, which presents interesting exhibits from the life of the monastery. Those who wish can bathe in the spring, famous for its healing properties. The monastery cemetery is a kind of memorial where many significant figures of Orthodox culture in Estonia are buried.

In the same province there is an alcoholic route. During the tour, tourists can get acquainted with the production technology of local alcoholic beverages and taste them. In Rakvere Castle you will be offered to taste the knight’s malvasia, in the Palmse wine cellar – original branded drinks, among which strawberry liqueur is especially popular. An exhibition dedicated to the alcohol and vodka history of the region has been opened in the Rakvere Exhibition House. Here you will see stills for distillation of alcohol and distillation apparatuses, and you will also learn that the local potato spirit in pre-war Estonia was included in the Guinness Book of Records due to its strength (98%).

Among the natural attractions of Estonia, one can also recommend the picturesque Kütiorg Valley in Võru County. This is one of the deepest valleys in Estonia, its depth is 60 m, length 4.7 km, and width from 250 to 600 meters. At the bottom of the valley flows the Iskna stream. It arose as a result of the melting of the glacier.

Not far from the western coast of the country is the island of Saaremaa. This is the second largest island in the Baltic Sea, it occupies 2668 sq. km and is the largest island in Estonia. The main city of the island is Kuressaare. It originated in the 14th century and subsequently gained the status of the most important port and trade center of Estonia.

The main attraction of Kuressaare – Bishop’s castle. It took almost 100 years to build the castle, and even from the sea you can see its 40-meter 7-storey watchtowers and powerful bastions. Inside it is the Saaremaa Museum and the Art Gallery. The island also has the Viidumäe and Vilsandi nature reserves, the 21 m high Panga limestone cliff, the Kaali lake geological reserve and the Karujärv lake. Kaali Lake originated in one of 9 craters that were formed from 2500 to 7500 years ago as a result of a meteorite fall.

Hiiumaa is a small island in the Baltic Sea, famous for the ancient cities of Kärdla and Kaina located here, as well as the third oldest lighthouse in the world – 104-meter Kõpu. Also interesting is the Hiiumaa Museum in Kärdla, one of the most beautiful manor houses in Estonia. – Suuremõisa Palace (1755-1772), and the Søera Open Air Ethnographic Museum in Pühalepa (open only in summer).

What to See in Estonia