The northernmost of the three countries located on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, Estonia is a land of great beauty, covered with forests and meadows and encompassing about 1 500 islands and lakes. Estonia’s rich history has left it with a wealth of tourist attractions: castles, church, fortresses, and ancient Estonian hill forts and stone tombs.
Tallinn – the capital of Estonia – lies on the southern shore of the Finnish Bay. Tallinn is the historical, cultural and political centre of Estonia. The Old Town is on the World Heritage List under the auspices of UNESCO (1997). It has preserved the features of a 15th century trading town, and the general look of a typical hanseatic town with period administrative buildings and dwelling houses. The city is also famous for its fortifications. When Tallinn was built, it boasted of 8 gates and 48 towers. In about 20 of them, which survived until nowadays, various museums or cafeterias are housed.
Tartu is an old Hansa and University town, the centre of science, economy and culture in South Estonia. Tartu is situated on the river Emajogi, 186 km Southeast from Tallinn. The most important sights of Tartu are the Town Hall , the main building of the Tartu University, the Monument to the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, the founder of the University, ruins of St.John’s Church ( 14th cent.). The most beautiful part of the town is Toomemagi. The Cathedral houses include the ruins of the 13th century Bishop’s Castle and University History Museum. In the park there is the Tahetorn Observatory, the Angel’s Bridge & the Devil’s Bridge, the old building of the Department of Anatomy, clinics and several other monuments. The gunpowder cellar now houses a restaurant.
Parnu is the 4th largest town in Estonia and is the largest Estonian Baltic Sea resort with bathing establishments. Ona of the most significant tourist attraction is the Red Tower – the oldest building in Parnu, which is the only remains of the medieval fortification system in Parnu survived till today. The bastions, a part of the moat (Vallikaar )and Tallinn gate date back to the 17th century. Tourists can see the newly renovated 17th-19th century dwelling houses, warehouses and schools during the walk along the main shopping street of Tartu.
Saaremaa is located in the centre of the Baltic Sea region Saaremaa is known for being the most “Estonian” place in all of Estonia.
Here one can find wooden windmills, stone cottages with thatched roofs and the remains of ancient hill forts Main city on Saaremaa is Kuresaare. The main attraction of Kuressaare is the 14th cent. bishopric castle-fortification. The medieval stone castle is the only one in the Baltic countries that has survived throughout the centuries in its entirety. The old town with its baroque and classicistic buildings from the 18th-19th cent. is one of the greatest assets of Kuressaare.
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