Thursday, 31 May 2018

Estonia is beautiful during the month of May!

Once again I had the pleasure of visiting Estonia this year. My sister and her family were visiting from Australia and naturally she wanted to include a trip to our ancestral homeland. We spent a wonderful week in Estonia, dividing our time between Tallinn and Tartu. We had fantastic weather each and every day of our stay -  beautiful blue sky and not a drop of rain. We couldn't have wished for more.

Although we visited many of our favourite old spots, I did manage to do a few new things including a tour of the new Carved Stone Museum in Tallinn and National Museum in Tartu. The two hour train journey from Tallinn to Tartu was very comfortable. Visiting Nõo was of particular importance to us as our family used to live at Luke Manor and were born inside the steward's house. It was from Luke that my family made the move to Tallinn during the mid 1800s with many of them pursuing careers as pharmacists.

Here are some photo highlights of my trip.

The Estonian Parliament building and Pikk Hermann Tower.

City wall near the Danish King's Garden.

The new Carved Stone Museum

Located within the Bastion Passages Tallinn.

Europe's oldest pharmacy - The Raeapteek.

A new touch screen computer reveals old Raeapteek documents.
My great-great-grandfather Alexander Lesthal worked as a pharmacist 
at the Raeapteek from 1862 - 1865.

Tartu Town Hall.

The University of Tartu.

University interior.

No trip to Tartu is complete without a meal at the Gunpowder Cellar.

Luke Manor.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the restoration of the steward's house. 

The beauty and tranquility of Luke Manor Park.

The new location of the Estonian National Museum.

Tagurpidi Maja. The Upside Down House Museum is located
across the road from the Estonian National Museum.

And like always, I returned home with a suticase full of Estonian goodies. This time I bought a dozen loaves of delicious rye bread, some new books, commemorative stamps, smoked almonds and Kalev chocolates! 

Monday, 21 May 2018

Let's rediscover parish colours during Estonia's centenary summer!

Estonians are proud of their parish colours. They are deeply engrained in our roots, history and culture. Parish colours not only appear in our national costume but are often used in day-to-day items around the home. As part of EV100 celebrations this summer, Estonians are encourage to embrace their parish colours, pick up a paintbrush and get creative! It would be such a joy to see the finished product!

Where do Estonian parishes colours come from?
Our ancestors have valued the colours of their parishes and captured them in the skirts of their folk costumes. The arrangement of the stripes is not by chance and the colours also have their own meaning. Much red has been used, which was considered to have magical qualities, healing properties and the ability to ward off evil.

Various colours were obtained from forest plants and flowers, which people of old used to know and distinguish well. Parochial skirts were never similar to others and maintained their specific regional quality. This is also the case with our people, who may not always know their exact parochial origins, but are nevertheless connected to their roots and parentage. Parish colours thereby tell us about our history, origins, beliefs and the influence of local nature, all of which is beautifully recorded in the colours of Estonian folk costume skirts.

For further reading, please click here: 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Estonia to Become the World's First Free Public Transport Nation

Tallinn, known for its digital government and successful tech startups, is often referred to as Europe's innovation capital. Now celebrating five years of free public transport for its citizens, the government is planning to make Estonia the first free public transport nation. Allan Alaküla, head of Tallinn European Union Office, shares some valuable insights for other cities.

To read the full Popupcity news article, please click on the below link:
Estonia to Become the World's First Free Public Transport Nation

Monday, 14 May 2018

Estonian National Costume Postcards

I recently came across these beautiful images featuring the Estonian national costume. I think they were painted sometime during the 1930s.

Harju, Viru and Järvamaa.


Peipsiäärne & Setumaa.


Saaremaa. (Eesti rahvarõivad 1938)

Viljandi, Tartu & Võrumaa.

Hiiu & Läänemaa.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Luke Manor Fundraising Campaign: Help Restore the Steward's House

A new funding initiative has commenced on the Estonian crowdfunding website Hooandja to help raise money to restore the Steward's House at Luke Manor. For years, the local community has been trying to stop the disintegration of the building and in 2011 a new roof was installed. Since then some essential repairs have taken place but more time and money is required to complete the project. The local government recently approved a grant to help restore the steward's house but more money will be needed. Maybe you can help!

The fundraising campaign runs until the 17th June 2018 and you can choose how much you wish to donate. You can pledge 5€, 10€, 15€, 25€, 50€, 100€, 300€, 500€, or 1000€. There are also gifts on offer to thank you for your generosity.  

Once complete the building will be used as a function centre to host events and exhibitions.

The Steward's House

Beautiful views await!

Work has commenced on the floor.

To view the fundraising campaign page, please click on the below link. You will need to register to make a donation. Luke mõisa valitsejamaja etenduste- ja näitustesaali rekonstrueerimine

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Different ways Estonians have been celebrating EV100

One thing I like about social media is being connected with the many Estonian communities throughout the world and viewing their experiences.  It has been great to see all the wonderful events and celebrations which have taken place to mark the 100th birthday of the Republic of Estonia. Here are some of the photographs that I have enjoyed the most.

Beauty seen from above.

Great cake!

7000 people knitted a 100 metre carpet using national patterns.

Nice and creative!

One Estonian company planted an Estonian map! How nice is that?

I will definitely try this during my next trip to Estonia!

Whoever designed the packaging of this chocolate bar did a fantastic job!
I love it!

Stenbock House lit up in blue, black and white.

Manneken Pis in Brussels.

Celebrating parish colours. 
I need to do more folk art projects myself.

National symbols.

The giant Estonian flag knitted by Valtrik Pihl.
It measures 10 m x 16 m and took 3000  hours to make. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Peter Kentie explains the background behind the ESTonishing concept

It’s amazing how much one Dutchman can do for a country considering the knew little about Estonia just few years ago. Thank you Peter for your commitment, passion and brightEST ideas.