Thursday, 13 September 2012


After the collapse of the Soviet Union the long awaited dream of independence for Estonia became a reality. It is mainly covered by lakes, forests and marches.

In the north is the Gulf of Finland. On the east it has the Baltic Sea. In the south it borders with Latvia and Russia is in the east. Estonia is on the Great Eastern Plain and rivers finding its way through its limestone. It is surprising to learn the country has not only a mainland but also 1500 islands.  The two largest are Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.


Estonia’s geography has two different parts. The eastern part is higher and is 50m above the sea-level. The retreating glaciers’ deposits have enriched the soil and are very fertile.  The lower part of the plain is in the west and coastal regions. The land is flat and marshy. Estonia has 1400 lakes and largest, Lake Peipus, is half on Estonia side and the other in Russia.

Along the costal areas are pine forests. The rest of the country has mixed forests such as spruce, pine and birch. In the North-West of Estonia, including the islands, are mostly meadows mixed with Jupiter forests.  The North-east of the county is marked with huge open cast mines.

The country has a mild climate with summers around 18oC and rainfall from 80 to 100 cm per year. In the winter it can reach -20oC but it is mostly -5oC.



The country has a great wildlife because of the forests, meadows and marches. Mostly there are Elk, wild boars, deer and badges but occasional brown bears or wolves are sighted. The national bird is the barn swallow. Many other birds are at home in Estonia but the most outstanding bird is the golden eagle. The great variety ofplants encourages a great number of insects.

The official language is a Finno-Ugric which is similar to Finnish. However, it also contains a number of words of German, Russian and Baltic origin. To begin with Estonian’s religion was animism but after being conquered by so many national there are now a number of various religions. In the communist era all religion were banned.  Today over 75 percent are not very interesting in religion. The population has a minority of German, Russian and Finnish people.


A great festival is in Estonia is midsummer night eve. At dusk on the longest day of the yea, groups gather around bonfires and sing their traditional songs and dance till the early hours in the morning. A dim twilight lingers through the night at this time of the year.


Overall the native Estonians were described as the people of the land. Till World War 2 most of the people worked on the land. When they were occupied by the Soviet Union the land was confiscated by the government. Today Estonia is very much industrialized and has oil shale exploitation, shipbuilding, manufacturing, fertilizer production and timber industry. Light industry includes textiles (production of linen from flax) electronics and furniture manufactures.  In spite of that agriculture is still widespread across Estonia. Dairy farming is a great contributor the economy.

Estonia has a long history of occupation. They were ruled by Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Russia. The Russian began a textile industry and with the railways built in 1879 industrialization began.

At the end of the 19th century a national pride began at a time when Russia tried to suppressed patriotic feelings to achieve a total control of the Baltic

During World War 1 the anti-Russian feeling began to increase. Since there was a German and Russian confrontation the Estonians used the opportunity to declare independence on 24 February 1918.
None of the Germans and Russians were willing to recognize the Republic of Estonia and therefore the Estonians had to fight there independence against the Russians and Baltic Germans. Eventually they won and an independent Estonia was recognized in February 1920. They enjoyed their independence for the next 20 year but internal turmoil and the World War 2 breaking out; Estonia was once more under Russian occupation for next 51 year. Apart from the short occupation by the Germans from 1941 till 1944 the Russian oppression resulted in thousands of Estonians being deported.

During the late 1980 the pressure for Estonia’s independence was increasing rapidly and changes in the Russian Government opened the doors for an Estonia’s election in 1990.  The election result was People Front and the party changed the country into western democracy.

However, it was still not fully recognized and after a coupe in Moscow 1991 the Russian withdrew and gave Estonia full independence.



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