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The Mysterious Baltic Sea: Uncovering Estonia’s Hidden History

The Mysterious Baltic Sea: Uncovering Estonia’s Hidden History

The Baltic Sea is the largest of the world’s five oceans, covering around 14% of the global ocean surface area and having an average depth of . The length of its coastline is around 1,380 miles (2,210 kilometers), with over 1,000 islands scattered throughout it’s borders. It’s most prominent islands are located in Scandinavia, including Sweden, Denmark and Norway; yet one of the sea’s lesser-known islands lies within the shores of Estonia—Kihnu Island.

First Impressions
It is difficult to summarize the legacy of a land and its people in just a few words. However, our journey to this scarcely populated region of Northern Europe gave us an insight into the Estonian culture as well as startling glimpses into the realities of life within these fading borders. We were fortunate enough to visit two towns in Southern and Central Estonia during our explorations; Iru and Sindi.

Exploring the Estonian Coastline
Few people living in the US have heard of the tiny country of Estonia, tucked away near Latvia and Russia. The country, which as been independent since 1991, is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. In a few days we will be taking a train from Helsinki to Tallinn, then back up to Riga for our journey through Eastern Europe.

Pärnu Lagoon on an Estonian Island
Pärnu is an Estonian island where Pärnu Lagoon (the largest, natural brackish water body in Estonia) is located. While the once very large lagoon has now been more or less divided into two smaller ones due to dike construction and subsequent soil deposition, it was part of a much larger estuary environment.

See Also

St. Peter’s Church in Tallinn
A 30-minute bus ride from the Estonian capital of Tallinn, through forests, bogs and villages lies the tiny medieval town of Rakvere. This is where St. Peter’s Church – a medieval stone building that makes up part of the artistic ensemble Kivisild – can be found. Invented by well-known Latvian architect Gunnar Birkerts in 1960, Kivisild is considered to be one of the most original 20th century construction projects in Estonia.

Uus Maa Farmhouse in West-Estonia
Situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea in North-West Estonia, Uus Maa Farmhouse is a popular destination for visitors to see for themselves this country’s hidden history. Designed by Estonian-born American architect Alfred Shemi and opened as a museum in 1986, its art deco architecture stands as testament to the creative power of its designers and builders who, unlike other architectural movements of their time, were rooted in traditions while drawing upon new ideas.

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