Estonia's History

As glacial ice retreated from the last Ice Age, Stone Age humans made their first appearance around 11,000BC and by 6500BC they were well established. Estonia’s tribes were of Ugric origin which originated in Russia’s Ural Mountains region. The civilising influence of Rome stretched to Estonia with trade and new technology. Estonia came under Viking influence and in 1207 Estonia and Latvia, being in the last corner of Pagan Europe, came under Germanic/Danish control under the Christian Danish Crown. Swedish rule began in 1561 and ended in 1721 when Russia defeated the Swedes. In 1918, following the Bolshevik Revolution, Estonia proclaimed independence, which lasted until 1940 when the Red Army returned and mass deportations and NKVD (KGB) murders began. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Estonian’s welcomed them as liberators. In 1944 the Soviet repression was restored lasting until Estonian independence was regained in 1991 with the demise of Communism.

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The economy of Estonia had been stunted under communism so when independence was restored the economy raced ahead, the country described as the Baltic Tiger. However in 2008 the Estonian Economic Miracle came to a spectacular halt and belt tightening began. The country joined the European Union and NATO in 2004, cementing themselves firmly in the Western European camp and adopted the of Euro in 2011. Estonia's developing tourism sector welcomes visitors coming to enjoy spectacular forested countryside, quant ancient cities, a wonderfully rich and colourful cultural life and spend their Euros. As well as outdoor sports, visitors enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Estonia’s capital Tallinn.

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