Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Bank of Estonia releases new University of Tartu commemorative coin

A new two-euro coin went into circulation yesterday dedicated to the centenary of the first Estonian language university. The University of Tartu was built in 1632 and in the early days of the Republic of Estonia, it layed the foundation for higher education in the Estonian language and made an immeasurable contribution to the development of the Estonian state, society and culture. 

As 100 years have now passed since this important event, the Bank of Estonia has minted one million commemorative coins of which 17,500 are of high quality BU finish (brilliant uncirculated) and available on a coin card.


A postage stamp dedicated to the Estonian language university was also put on sale yesterday.  Both the coin and the stamp were designed by artist Indrek Ilves.


Monday, 18 November 2019

The Tallinn Christmas Market is now open!


Earlier this year the Tallinn Christmas Market was voted the best Christmas market in Europe. Now, with the start of the new season, the Tallinn Christmas Market can delight people once again as it was officially opened on Friday. Estonia was the first country in the world to have a Christmas tree erected in the Town Square, it's a tradition that dates back to 1441. On Friday the new Christmas tree on Tallinn's Town Hall Square was lit up for the first time. 

The Tallinn Christmas Market offers an excellent selection of Estonian food, drink and locally made handicrafts.  Live music and entertainment is held regularly on stage and Santa's house is a must-see. The Tallinn Christmas Market is open everyday until 7th January 2020 

Saturday, 16 November 2019

How to weave baskets the Estonian way

I love handicrafts, especially Estonian handicrafts. This video demonstrates the art of basket making using Estonian native materials. The video is in Estonian with English subtitles.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

The forgotten work of Johannes Letzmann

Estonia has produced many great minds over the course of its history but not all of them have received the recognition they deserved. One such man was Dr. Johannes Letzmann, a pioneering Estonian meterologist in the field of tornado research.  Letzmann's research in the 1920s and 1930s into severe storms and atmospheric vortices was far more extensive than anything which had been conducted in the United States at that time.

Johannes Peter Letzmann
19th July 1885 - 21st May 1971

Johannes Letzmann studied meteorology at the University of Tartu from 1906 - 1913. His career studying tornadoes began in 1918 when he met the esteemed scientist Alfred Wegener who introduced him to his copious European tornado climatological and other studies. In 1924 Letzmann was awarded a PhD by The University of Helsinki.

Letzmann conducted most of his research in Tartu however he did spend a year at the University of Graz with Wegener in 1928. Eleven years later Letzmann was offered the position of professor of meteorology at the University of Graz which he held until 1945. While there he built a "Forschungsstelle für atmosphärische Wirbel" (Research Centre for atmospheric whirls). After World War Two Letzmann could not return to Soviet-occupied Estonia so he chose to remain in Austria.

In 1962 Letzmann retired and spent the rest of his days in a hostel for Baltic Germans located in Langeroog, Germany. For decades Letzmann's work lay forgotten until it was rediscovered in the 1990s.

In 1991 Richard E. Peterson from Texas Tech Universtiy published this 19-page biography about the immense value of Letzmann's work, complete with photographs, drawings and charts: Johannes Letzmann: A Pioneer in the Study of Tornadoes 

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Thirty years ago today the Berlin Wall was torn down. When it stood, it was among history’s darkest symbols of a divided Europe. When it fell, it became the beginning of the end of communist tyranny and led to the path for Estonia to regain its independence.Thirty years ago today Europe changed for the better, the world changed.  The wait was finally over.

The Foriegn Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania released this joint statement.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

FIA World Rally Champions 2019: Ott Tänak & Martin Järveoja



After winning race after race across Europe this year Ott Tänak has been named FIA World Champion for 2019 with his co-driver Martin Järveoja. Ott will now go down in history for being the first Estonian to win the World Rally Championship. Ott has made Estonia so very proud! Congratulations!


Sunday, 27 October 2019

Ancient gold bracelet found in Saaremaa


Earlier last month amateur archaeologist Jegor Klimov made the discovery of a lifetime. With the aid of his metal detector he came across  a 1700 year old sacifical site on the island of Saaremaa. The site contained a treasure trove of ancient artifacts including silver and gold plated brooches and belt plagues but the most exciting item amongst the collection was the massive gold bracelet that dates back to the 3rd century. Nothing like this has been found in Estonia before.  It's a rare find. 

The value of the bracelet is believed to be between  €300,000 - €400,000.