Estonia (Eesti Vabariik) is a parliamentary republic, which is bordered on the east by Russia, to the south by Latvia, to the north by the Gulf of Finland and to the west by the Baltic Sea. It is part of the European Union. Among the cities are the capital Tallinn, and Tartu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve and Pärnu.
The territory of Estonia is mostly flat in the north. It has hills in the south-east, the highest elevation of the country reaching in the Munamägi/Munnaberg 318 meters. The plains are dotted with numerous lakes like Lake Wirz, Lake Narva and Lake Peipus.
A COUNTRY RICH IN FORESTS
The Estonian territory is covered with forests and woodlands by over 40%. Large areas of the country are made up of marshes and bogs. The coasts of Estonia, which extend for nearly 3,800 km, are bordering the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. They are low, sandy and jagged and full of islands. The main ones are those of Hiiumaa and Saremaa.
Estonia has a high percentage of Russians by ethnicity and language. Almost 25% of the Estonian population is made up of Russians. The country is world-wide among the countries with the highest percentage of non-believers. The most professed confessian is the Lutheran one (Evangelical Lutheran Church).
During its history, Estonia was often subject to the domination of its more powerful neighbors, the nation belonged the Danish krone in the thirteenth century. In the fourteenth century, it was under the rule of the Teutonic Knights. In the sixteenth century Estonia was split between Poland and Sweden. Finally at the beginning of the eighteenth century it was the turn of Russia domination.
In 1920, Estonia became independent, but lost its independence with the Second World War, when in 1940 it was occupied by the Red Army. The Nazis came in 1941, and in 1944 Estonia became part of the Soviet Union. In 1991, Estonia became once more independent and in 2004 the country joined the European Union.
- Area: 45,227 sq km
- Population: 1,344,684: 68% Estonians, 25% Russians, 2,5% Ukrainians, 1,5% Bielorussians and 1% Finns.
- State Capital: Tallinn/Reval
- Official language: Estonian. Russian is also spoken.
- Religion: Above all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Time: Local time is UTC+2 hours, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+3.