Estonia Facts

Estonia Facts
Estonia is a country in Northern Europe bordered by Latvia, Russia, Lake Peipus, the Baltic Sea, and the Gulf of Finland. Its official name is the Republic of Estonia and it includes the mainland and 2,222 islands and islets. It is believed that human settlement began between 11,000 and 13,000 years ago in Estonia after the last ice age's ice had melted. The oldest settlement was the Pulli settlement, followed by hunting and fishing communities near Kunda. Farming began in the early Iron Age, and Estonian Vikings became a dominant power in the Mid-Iron Age. Denmark claimed Estonia in the1200s, and a few centuries later the Swedish empire gained control. It wasn't until 1918 that Estonia gained its independence. In 1940 the USSR took control of Estonia and it wasn't until 1994 that the Russian Army left Estonia, three years after recognizing Estonia's independence.
Interesting Estonia Facts:
Estonia has several capital cities. The official capital is Tallinn, while the cultural capital is Tartu and the summer capital is Parnu.
Estonia has two Independence Days. The first is February 24th, and the second is August 20th, because the country had to declare its independence twice. The second Independence Day is known as Restoration of Independence Day.
Estonia's official language is Estonian. Russian is also a common language.
Estonia's currency was the Kroon until it joined the Euro-zone and its currency became the Euro.
Only 14% of Estonians claim to be religious in any way.
There are only 1.3 million people living in Estonia, making it one of the most sparsely populated European countries.
The country with the largest number of meteorite craters is Estonia.
Paul Keres was the chess Grandmaster. He was born in Estonia. More than 100,000 people attended his funeral in 1975. This was equal to 10% of the population of Estonia at the time.
Estonia ranks 2nd in the world for literacy, with a rate of over 99% among its residents.
Estonia was the first country in the world to put a flat income tax in place.
Kiiking is a sport invented by the Estonians. It is a type of swinging that involves squatting and standing to make the swing gain momentum.
Estonia is divided into 15 counties, with each county having a governor. Governors are appointed by Estonia's government.
Estonia is small, being only about the same size as Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined.
Unlike many other countries in the world, Estonia's forests are actually getting bigger. This is due in part to the fact that the population of Estonia is declining.
Tallinn is not only the capital of Estonia but it is also considered to have Eastern Europe's most adorable and quaintest old town.
The Christmas tree was first put on display in Tallinn. It was put up in 1441 in the Town Hall Square by a fraternity of bachelors. After drinking, singing, and decorating, they ended the party by burning the tree.
Estonia is home to one of Northern Europe's oldest universities. The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 by King Gustavus Adolphus II.


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