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About Tallinn, Estonia

Welcome to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and one of the main economic centers of Baltic region. Tallinn region was settled on the shores of the Gulf of Finland by the Finno-Ugric tribes about 3500 years ago. By the 10th century ancient Tallinn was known as a port and marketplace among Scandinavian and Russian merchants. To protect the port a wooden fortress was built on the limestone cliff. In the year of 1154 Arabian cartographer al — Idrisi for a first time marked Tallinn on his world In 1265 the construction of the town wall and canon towers began. By the end of the 13th century Tallinn had become one of the largest towns in the Baltic countries and it became a member of the Hanseatic league in 1285. Tallinn's importance for the League rested on its strategic position as a port town on the trading route between Western Europe and Russia. Today Tallinn also acts as a crossroads between East and West.
In 1343 the king of Denmark sold his dominions in Estonia to the Teutonic Order, who in turn sold them to the Livonian Order. In 1558 the Livonian War started, during which Tallinn passed to Sweden. The silhouette of the city changed this time — baroque, swelling tower tips rose beside the needle-sharp spires of older towers. During the Great Northern War, in 1710, the Russian Empire annexed Estonia. This historical fact has also left its impact on the way the city looks today. Nowadays Estonian republic is an independent country with it's own cultural traditions and it's beautiful capital shining among the other Baltic cities.
Today, Tallinn is the capital of one of the most rapidly developing economies in the Baltic Sea Region. During the 10 years Tallinn has developed into a very modern and open city with tall glass and steel buildings, illuminated signs of major international companies, large shopping malls, newly renovated airport, ever growing cargo and passenger ports as well as dozens of new manufacturing and warehouse complexes. The medieval capital has turned into a modern IT-driven business cluster for various trades and industries. But it's not only thing that makes city attractive. A lot of cultural activities take place in city theaters, art galleries, museums and concert halls.
The Old Town, with its long city wall, cobblestone streets, churches with their graceful steeples, merchants houses and towers, makes Estonian capital an amazing place to visit. The typical building material, limestone, has been used since the 13th century in the construction of the town wall, defence towers, churches, the Town Hall, and the lower town. The strong influence of Hanseatic architecture can be explained by Tallinn belonging to the Hanseatic League since 1285. The open air museum in Rocca al Mare is often visited by tourists, along with the palace and park of Kadriorg, which recall the conquests of Peter the Great. The Zoo and Botanical Garden are of great interest as well.