Saturday 15 June 2024

Artifacts found at Lihula Manor date back to the Livonian Crusades

Archaeological finds recently discovered at Lihula Manor in Pärnu County date back to the Battle of Lihula (Leal) that took place in 1220. The battle is considered one of the most outstanding victories in the Estonians' fight for freedom during that particular epoch. According to the chronicler of Henry of Livonia, 500 Swedes died in that battle and their bodies may be buried in the vicinity of the manor.

Archaeologists have found many interesting artifacts inside a well on the property including ceramics, coins, seals, and most importantly, a very rare arrowhead of Scandinavian origin.

Lihula Manor is currently a functioning museum and plans to exhibit the items and photographs taken from the excavations.  More information about Lihula Manor can be found here.

Friday 14 June 2024

Remembering the victims of the 1941 Soviet mass deportations

Today is a day of mourning in Estonia. On this day we remember the victims of the mass Soviet deportations that took place in 1941. Over a period of three days, from 14th June - 17th June 1941, over 10,000 innocent people were forcibly taken from their homes and sent to remote parts of Russia. More than 7,000 women, children and elderly people were among those deported. The victims were crammed into wooden cattle wagons and endured a gruelling trip that took weeks to reach Siberia. Most of them perished, never to see home again.

This day reminds us of the importance of remembering our people's history and respecting the suffering of those who had to go through indescribable hardships. These deportations were one of many Soviet crimes against humanity. 

Me kunagi ei unusta / we will never forget.

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Johannes Erm wins gold in decathlon at the European Championships!

The European Championships are currently taking place in Rome, Italy. Johannes Erm made Estonia proud when he won the gold medal in the decathlon event. What a fantastic result! Congratulations Johannes!


Sunday 9 June 2024

The Ancient Amber Road

The Amber Road was an ancient trade route that transported amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Prehistoric trade routes between Northern and Southern Europe were defined by the amber trade. As an important commodity, sometimes dubbed "the gold of the north", amber was transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, Syria and Egypt over a period of thousands of years.

From at least the 16th century BC, amber was moved from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean area. The breast ornament of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen (c. 1333–1324 bce) contains large Baltic amber beads. Archaeologists have also found amber beads at Mycenae, in the Royal Tomb of Qatna, Syria, the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and in pharaoh tombs in Tethys pyramid (3400-2400 BC).

In Roman times, a main trade route ran south from the Baltic coast (modern Lithuania), the entire north–south length of modern-day Poland (likely through the Iron Age settlement of Biskupin), through the land of the Boii (modern Czech Republic and Slovakia) to the head of the Adriatic Sea (Aquileia by the modern Gulf of Venice). Other commodities were exported to the Romans along with amber, such as animal fur and skin, honey, and wax, in exchange for Roman glass, brass, gold, and non-ferrous metals such as tin and copper imported into the early Baltic region. As this road was a lucrative trade route connecting the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, Roman military fortifications were constructed along the route to protect merchants and traders from Germanic raids.

Amber remains a popular commodity to this day. The most valuable are pieces containing clearly visible fossilised insects, light colours, and clarity. All countries across the Baltics have amber shops selling jewellery and a range of other souvenirs. In Lithuania there is an amber museum called Palanga Amber Museum. The museum is open every day apart from Mondays and public holidays.

Friday 7 June 2024

Take part in the Guinness World Record sauna attempt tomorrow!

Saturday is traditionally sauna day in Estonia and tomorrow, June 8, is also International Sauna Day. To celebrate, everyone is invited to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt - "Most photos of people in the sauna on Facebook in 1 hour". To participate, simple take a photograph in a sauna and upload it to Facebook between 7pm - 8pm tomorrow night. More information can be found here.

Estonia's life expectancy has risen to a new record high

New data released from Statistics Estonia has revealed that Estonia's life expectancy has increased, surpassing the 2019 record. The average life expectancy in Estonia is now officially 79 years. Broken down according to gender, that is 83.1 years for women in Estonia and 74.5 years for men. However this is lower than the European average which is currently 81.5 years. Compared to the other Baltic countries, Estonia is faring well. Estonia has the highest life expectancy of 79 years compared to 77.3 years in Lithuania, and 75.9 years in Latvia. In Europe, life expectancy is the highest in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Spain – a little over 84 years.

The 2023 data shows Estonian residents have 58 healthy life years. Men can expect to live disability-free for 56.4 years and women for 59.5 years. Life expectancy also correlates with educational attainment. Women with higher education have a life expectancy of 86 years, while men with basic education can expect to live 68.3 years.

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Estonia Tops Environmental Performance Index

The 2024 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has been published, placing Estonia at the very top of the world rankings. The 2024 EPI provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world, 180 countries in total were evaluated. The Environmental Performance Index combines 58 indicators across 11 issue categories, ranging from climate change mitigation and air pollution to waste management, sustainability of fisheries and agriculture, deforestation, and biodiversity protection.

Estonia has decreased its GHG emissions by 59% compared to 1990. The energy sector will be the biggest contributor in reducing emissions in the coming years. Estonia aims to produce 100% of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030.