TALLINN COUNTRY MAP

Tallinn , is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) and has a population of 440,950.Approximately 32% of Estonia’s total population lives in Tallinn.

FLAG OF TALLINN

DEPUTY MAYOR 

Taavi Aas

TALLINN HISTORY

Tallinn (recent historical name: Reval) is the capital city and main seaport of Estonia. It is located on Estonia’s north coast to the Gulf of Finland, 80 kilometres south of Helsinki.

Etymology

The origin of the name “Tallinn(a)” is certain to be Estonian, although the original meaning of the name is debated. It is usually thought to be derived from “Taani-linn(a)” (meaning “Danish-castle/town”; Latin: Castrum Danorum). However, it could also have come from “tali-linna” (“winter-castle/town”), or “talu-linna” (“house/farmstead-castle/town”). The element -linna, like German -burg and Slavic -grad originally meant “castle” but is used as a suffix in the formation of town names.

Tallinna replaced the previously used official German name Reval (help·info) (Russian: Ревель) in 1918, when Estonia became independent. In the early 1920s the official spelling of the city name was changed from Tallinna to Tallinn, making the new name notable since Estonian-language place names generally end with a vowel (denoting genitive case). However, somewhat confusingly to non-Estonian speakers, the word Tallinna still appears in modern Tallinn as the -a suffix can denote the genitive case (thus Tallinna Lennujaam translates literally as Tallinn’s Airport).

Historical names

The German and Swedish name Reval (Latin: Revalia, earlier Swedish language: Raffle) originated from the 13th century Estonian name of the adjacent Estonian county of Ravala. Other known ancient historical names of Tallinn include variations of Estonian Lindanise (see Battle of Lyndanisse), such as Lyndanisse in Danish, Lindanas in Swedish, and Ledenets in Old East Slavic. Kesoniemi in Finnish and Kolyvan (Колывань) in Old East Slavic are also other historical names.

Geography

Tallinn is situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, in north central Estonia.

The largest lake in Tallinn is Lake Ulemiste (covers 9.6 km?). It is the main source of the city’s drinking water. Lake Harku is the second largest lake within the borders of Tallinn and its area is 1.6 km?. Unlike many other large towns, the only significant river in Tallinn is located in Pirita (a city district counted as a suburb). The river valley is a protected area because of its natural beauty.

A limestone cliff runs through the city. It is exposed, for instance, at Toompea and Lasnamae. However, Toompea is not a part of the cliff, but a separate hill.

The highest point of Tallinn, at 64 meters above the sea level, is situated in the district of Nomme, in the south-west of the city.

The length of the coastline is 46 kilometres. It comprises 3 bigger peninsulas: Kopli peninsula, Paljassaare peninsula and Kakumae peninsula.

History

The southern coast of the Gulf of Finland is thought to have been settled by Finnic-speaking tribes already in the 2nd millennium BC.

In 1154 Tallinn was marked on the world map of the Arab cartographer al-Idrisi.

As an important port for trade between Russia and Scandinavia, it became a target for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights and Kingdom of Denmark during the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century when Christianity was forcibly imposed on the local population. Danish rule of Tallinn and Northern Estonia started in 1219.

In 1285 the city became the northernmost member of the Hanseatic League – a mercantile and military alliance of German-dominated cities in Northern Europe. The Danes sold Tallinn along with their other land possessions in northern Estonia to the Teutonic Order in 1345. Medieval Tallinn enjoyed a strategic position at the crossroads of trade between Western and Northern Europe and Russia. The city, with a population of 8,000, was very well fortified with city walls and 66 defence towers.

The historical Old Town

With the start of the Protestant Reformation the German influence became even stronger. In 1561 Tallinn politically became a dominion of Sweden.

During the Great Northern War the Swedish troops based in Tallinn capitulated to Imperial Russia in 1710, but the local Baltic German rulers retained their cultural and economical autonomy within Tsarist Russia. The 19th century brought industrialization of the city and the port kept its importance. During the last decades of the century Russification pressure became stronger.

On 24 February 1918 the Independence Manifesto was proclaimed in Tallinn, followed by German occupation and a war of independence with Russia. On 2 February 1920 the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed with Soviet Russia, wherein Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic. Tallinn became the capital of the independent Estonia. After World War II started Estonia was annexed by the USSR as a result of coup with help of the Red Army in 1940-41, and later invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941-44. After Nazi retreat in 1944, it was occupied by the USSR again. After the annexion into the Soviet Union, Tallinn became the capital of the Estonian SSR.

During the 1980 Summer Olympics a regatta was held at Pirita, north-east of central Tallinn. Many buildings, like the hotel “Olumpia”, the new Main Post Office building, and the Regatta Center, were built for the Olympics.

In August 1991 an independent democratic Estonian state was re-established and a period of quick development to a modern European capital ensued. Tallinn became de-facto capital of a independent country once again on August 20, 1991.

Tallinn has historically consisted of three parts:

  • The Toompea (Domberg) or “Cathedral Hill”, which was the seat of the central authority, first the ruling bishops, then the Teutonic Order, then the Baltic German nobility; it is today the seat of the Estonian government and many embassies and residencies.
  • The Old Town, which is the old Hanseatic town, the “city of the citizens” – this was not administratively united with the Hill until the late 19th century. It was the centre of the medieval trade on which it grew prosperous.
  • The Estonian town forms a crescent to the south of the Old Town, where the Estonians came to settle. It was not until the mid-19th century that ethnic Estonians replaced the local Baltic Germans as the majority amongst the residents of Tallinn.

Historically, the city has been attacked, sacked, razed and pillaged on numerous occasions. Although extensively bombed by Soviet air forces during the latter stages of World War II, much of the medieval Old Town still retains its charm. The Tallinn Old Town (including Toompea) became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997.

At the end of the 15th century a new 159 m high Gothic spire was built for St. Olav’s Church. Between 1549 and 1625 it was the tallest building in the world. After several fires and following rebuilding, its overall height is now 123 m.

CLIMATE

Tallinn has a humid continental climate with warm, mild summers and cold, snowy winters. Winters are cold but mild for its latitude, owing to its coastal location. The average temperature in February, the coldest month, is −4.3 °C (24.3 °F). During the winter months, temperatures tend to hover close to the freezing mark but mild spells of weather can push temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F), occasionally reaching above 5 °C (41 °F) while cold air masses can push temperatures below −18 °C (0 °F). On average there are 3–6 hours of above freezing throughout the day and 6 hours when the temperature reaches or drops below −17 °C (1 °F). Snowfall is common during the winter months. Winters are cloudy and are characterized by low amounts of sunshine, ranging from only 0.5 hours of sunshine per day in December to 4.1 hours in March. At the winter solstice daylight lasts for only 6 hours.

Spring starts out cool, with freezing temperatures common in March and April but gradually becomes warmer in late May when daytime temperatures average 15.2 °C (59.4 °F) although nighttime temperatures still remain cool, averaging −1.0 to 5.2 °C (30.2 to 41.4 °F) from March to May. Snowfall is common in March and can occur in April.

Summers are mild with daytime temperatures hovering around 19 to 21 °C (66 to 70 °F) and nighttime temperatures averaging between 9.6 to 12.7 °C (49.3 to 54.9 °F) from June to August. The warmest month is usually July, with an average of 17.2 °C (63.0 °F). Periods of hot weather are rare during the summer months, with only 31 days per year where the temperature reaches or exceeds 21.0 °C (69.8 °F). During summer, partly cloudy or clear days are common and it is the sunniest season, ranging from 7.4 hours of sunshine in August to 10.1 hours in June although precipitation is higher during these months. As a consequence of its high latitude, at the summer solstice, daylight lasts for more than 18 hours and 30 minutes.

Fall starts out mild, with a September average of 11.3 °C (52.3 °F) and increasingly becomes cooler and cloudier towards the end of November. In the early parts of fall, temperatures commonly reach 15 °C (59 °F) on some days and at least one day above 21 °C (70 °F) in September. In the latter months of fall, freezing temperatures become more common and snowfall can occur.

Tallinn receives 618 millimeters (24.3 in) of precipitation annually which is evenly distributed throughout the year although March and April are the driest months, averaging about 30 millimeters (1.2 in) while July and August are the wettest months with 74 millimeters (2.9 in) of precipitation. The average humidity is 81%, ranging from a high of 88% to a low of 69% in May. Tallinn has an average windspeed of 3.5 metres per second (11 ft/s) with winters being the windiest (around 4.0 metres per second (13 ft/s) in January) and summers being the least windiest at around 2.9 m/s (9.5 ft/s) in July and August. Extremes range from −31.1 °C (−24.0 °F) in January 1940 to 34.3 °C (93.7 °F) in July 1994.

POPULATION

Tallinn’s population grows by more than 5,000 in 2016

The population of the Estonian capital Tallinn increased by more than 5,000 people in 2015, reaching almost 440,000 by the turn of the year.

As of Jan. 1, 2016 registered residents of Tallinn numbered 439,517, data of the population register show. At the beginning of 2015 the capital city had a population of 434,426, the city government said.

During the past year the population number grew by 5,091, including a record increase of 1,386 in the month of September. By city districts, the biggest increases were recorded in Central and Mustamäe whose population grew by 1,928 and 1,069 people, respectively.

In 2014 Tallinn’s population grew by 4,527 people, following a record increase of 10,069 in 2013.

Since the start of 2012 the population of the capital city has increased by 23,373 people or nearly 6 percent.

LANGUAGE

Other main nationalities in Tallinn are Russian (38.5%) and Ukrainian (3.9%). The language that is spoken in Estonia is called, “Estonian.” However, it is not uncommon in Estonia to speak two or three foreign languages. English is understood and spoken by many of the residents.

CURRENCY

The national currency in Estonia is the Euro. Larger hotels, stores and restaurants accept Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard and American Express debit and credit cards. However, it is advisable to carry some cash with you.

 

 

ECONOMY

Tallinn is the financial and business capital of Estonia. The city has a highly diversified economy with particular strengths in information technology, tourism and logistics. Daily Mail called Tallinn one of world’s seven smartest cities. Currently, over half of the Estonian GDP is created in Tallinn. In 2008, the GDP per capita of Tallinn stood at 172% of the Estonian average.

Information technology

In addition to longtime functions as seaport and capital city, Tallinn has seen development of an information technology sector; in its 13 December 2005, edition, The New York Times characterized Estonia as “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea”. One of Tallinn’s sister cities is the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos, California. Skype is one of the best-known of several Estonian start-ups originating from Tallinn. Many start-ups originated from the Soviet-era Institute of Cybernetics. In recent years Tallinn has gradually been becoming one of the main IT centre of Europe, with CCD COE of NATO, EU Agency for large-scale IT systems and IT development centres of large corporations, such as TeliaSonera and Kuehne + Nagel being based in the city. Smaller start-up incubators like Garage48 and Game Founders have helped to provide support to teams from Estonia and around the world looking for support, development and networking opportunities.

Tourism

Tallinn receives more than 1.5 million visitors annually, a figure that has grown steadily over the past decade.

Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a major tourist attraction; others include the Seaplane Harbour of Estonian Maritime Museum, the Tallinn Zoo, Kadriorg Park, and the Estonian Open Air Museum. Most of the visitors come from Europe, though Tallinn has also become increasingly visited by tourists from Russia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Tallinn Passenger Port is one of the busiest cruise destinations on the Baltic Sea, serving more than 520,000 cruise passengers in 2013. From year 2011 regular cruise turnarounds in cooperation with Tallinn Airport are organised.

Energy

Eesti Energia, a large oil shale to energy company, has its headquarters in Tallinn. The city also hosts the headquarters of Elering, a national electric power transmission system operator and member of ENTSO-E, the Estonian natural gas company Eesti Gaas and energy holding company Alexela Energia, part of Alexela Group. Nord Pool Spot, the largest market for electrical energy in the world, established its local office in Tallinn.

Finance

Tallinn is the financial centre of Estonia and also a strong economic centre in the Scandinavian-Baltic region. Many major banks, such as SEB, Swedbank, Nordea, DNB, have their local offices in Tallinn. LHV Pank, an Estonian investment bank, has its corporate headquarters in Tallinn. Tallinn Stock Exchange, part of NASDAQ OMX Group, is the only regulated exchange in Estonia.

Logistics

Port of Tallinn is one of the biggest ports in the Baltic sea region. Old City Harbour is being known as a convenient harbour since the 10th century, but nowadays the cargo operations are shifted to Muuga Cargo Port and Paldiski Southern Port. There is a small fleet of oceangoing trawlers that operate out of Tallinn.

Manufacturing sector

Tallinn industries include shipbuilding, machine building, metal processing, electronics, textile manufacturing. BLRT Grupp has its headquarters and some subsidiaries in Tallinn. Air Maintenance Estonia and AS Panaviatic Maintenance, both based in Tallinn Airport, provide MRO services for aircraft, largely expanding their operations in recent years.

Food processing

Liviko, the maker of Vana Tallinn liqueur, strongly associated with the city, is based in Tallinn. The headquarters of Kalev, a confectionery company and part of the industrial conglomerate Orkla Group, is located in Lehmja, southeast of Tallinn.

EDUCATION

Institutions of higher education and science include:

  • Estonian Academy of Arts
  • Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
  • Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
  • Estonian Business School
  • Estonian Maritime Academy
  • Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Institute of Theology
  • National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics
  • Tallinn University
  • Tallinn University of Technology

TOURISM

What can arguably be considered to be Tallinn’s main attractions are located in the old town of Tallinn (divided into a “lower town” and Toompea hill) which is easily explored on foot. The eastern parts of the city, notably Pirita (with Pirita Convent) and Kadriorg (with Kadriorg Palace) districts, are also popular destinations, and the Estonian Open Air Museum in Rocca al Mare, west of the city, preserves aspects of Estonian rural culture and architecture.

TRANSPORT

City transport

The city operates a system of bus (64 lines), tram (4 lines) and trolley-bus (5 lines) routes to all districts. A flat-fare system is used. The ticket-system is based on prepaid RFID cards available in kiosks and post offices. Starting from January 2013 public transport for citizens registered to live in Tallinn is completely free. That includes buses, trams and trolleybuses, and also the rail services within city limits.

Air

An Estonian Air plane in Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport.

The Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is about 4 kilometres (2 miles) from Town Hall square (Raekoja plats). There is a local bus connection between the airport and the edge of the city centre (bus no. 2). The nearest railway station Ülemiste is only 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the airport.

The construction of the new section of the airport began in 2007 and was finished in summer 2008.

There has been a helicopter service to and from Helsinki operated by Copterline and taking 18 minutes to cross the Gulf of Finland. The Copterline Tallinn terminal is located adjacent to Linnahall, five minutes from the city center. After a crash near Tallinn in August 2005, service was suspended but restarted in 2008 with a new fleet. The operator cancelled it again in December 2008, on grounds of unprofitability. On 15 February 2010, Copterline filed for bankruptcy, citing inability to keep the company profitable. In 2011 Copterline started again operating the Tallinn-Helsinki flights.

Ferry

Several ferry operators, Viking Line, Linda Line Express, Tallink and Eckerö Line, connect Tallinn to Helsinki, Mariehamn, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg. Passenger lines connect Tallinn to Helsinki (83 km (52 mi) north of Tallinn) in approximately 2–3.5 hours by cruiseferries.

Finland Helsinki, Finland

Åland Islands Mariehamn, Åland

Sweden Stockholm, Sweden

Russia St. Petersburg, Russia

Railroad

The Elron railway company operates train services from Tallinn to Tartu, Valga, Türi, Viljandi, Tapa, Narva, Orava, Koidula and Pärnu. Buses are also available to all these and various other destinations in Estonia, as well as to Saint Petersburg in Russia and Riga, Latvia. The Go Rail company operates a daily international sleeper train service between Tallinn-Moscow.

Tallinn also has a commuter rail service running from Tallinn’s main rail station in two main directions: east (Aegviidu) and to several western destinations (Pääsküla, Keila, Riisipere, Paldiski, and Kloogaranna). These are electrified lines and are used by the Elron railroad company. Stadler FLIRT EMU and DMU units are in service since July 2013. The first electrified train service in Tallinn was opened in 1924 from Tallinn to Pääsküla, a distance of 11.2 km (7.0 mi).

The Rail Baltica project, which will link Tallinn with Warsaw via Latvia and Lithuania, will connect Tallinn with the rest of the European rail network. A tunnel has been proposed between Tallinn and Helsinki, though it remains at a planning phase.

The Via Baltica motorway (part of European route E67 from Helsinki to Prague) connects Tallinn to the Lithuanian/Polish border through Latvia.

Frequent and affordable long-distance bus routes connect Tallinn with other parts of Estonia.

On 9 October 2013, the 320-meter-long Ülemiste tunnel was first opened.

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