Estonia Main Cities


According to iamhigher, Kohtla-Järve, Russian Kochtla-Jarwe, is an industrial city in northeast Estonia (Ida-Virumaa), 4 km from the Gulf of Finland, (2019) 33,800 residents, around 80% of the population are Russian-speaking.

Center for oil shale mining, industrial research institute, oil shale and mining museum, chemical industry, thermal power station; Far-reaching landscape destruction caused by mining in the area.


Narva, German Narwa, border town in the northeast of Estonia (Ida-Virumaa), on the west bank of the Narwa, which forms the border with Russia, near the mouth of the Gulf of Finland, (2019) 55,200 residents, the proportion of the Russian-speaking population is approx 95%.

Tartu University campus (teacher training); in the fortress city museum and art gallery; the most important Estonian industrial center after Tallinn with textile industry (cotton processing) and energy generation (near Narva two thermal power plants based on oil shale and a hydroelectric power plant on the Narwa reservoir); Mechanical engineering, wood processing industry; Border bridge to Ivangorod (Russia); Transport hub, cargo handling in trade with Russia.


The Hermannsfeste (former crusader castle, beginning of the 12th century; restored after damage in the Second World War up to the 1990s) opposite the Russian fortress Ivangorod (1492) houses a museum on the city’s history. The old town of Narva was almost completely destroyed in World War II; Noteworthy is the classicist town hall (1665–71; reconstruction after being destroyed in the war 1960–94). On the southern outskirts there are industrial buildings of the Kreenholm textile factory (numerous factory buildings and workers’ housing estates from the second half of the 19th century).


Narva, one of the oldest cities in Estonia, was founded around 1250 and received the town charter of Lubeck. As a trading town and border fortress, it initially belonged to Denmark, and since 1346 to the Teutonic Order. In the Livonian War the Russians conquered Narva in 1558, but had to cede it to Sweden in 1581/95. In the Great Northern War, Charles XII defeated. from Sweden on November 30, 1700 the Russians at Narva; In 1704, Peter the Great took the city, which had to be ceded in 1721 and remained with Russia until 1918.


Tartu, German Dorpat, city ​​in the southeast of Estonia, 59 m above sea level, on the Embach (Estonian Emajõgi), (2019) 93 900 residents.

Next to Tallinn, the most important economic and cultural center of Estonia; University (founded in 1632), agricultural and art school, museums (including art museum, museum of classical antiquity, museum of Estonian folklore), botanical garden; Construction of agricultural machinery, vehicles and equipment, chemical (plastics), electronic (IT), woodworking, textile, leather and food industries; Transport hub, inland port.


Only a few remains of the city fortifications (14th – 17th centuries) have survived. The ruins of the basilica Romanesque cathedral of St. Peter and Paul are located on the Domberg. The church was built in the 13th century, rebuilt in a Gothic style in the 14th century and received a hall choir and two west towers in the 15th century; the decay began as early as the 16th century. The preserved choir was converted into a library in 1806, which is now part of the University’s History Museum. The St. John’s Church from the 1st half of the 14th century, decorated with terracotta sculpture, was destroyed in 1944 (ruins preserved; restoration work in progress). After the great fire of 1775, a.o. the town hall (1782–86), the stone bridge (1775–84, in the 2nd Destroyed during World War II) and the university buildings (1803-09) in the style of Russian classicism. At the beginning of the 20th century, inter alia the Paulskirche (1915–17, interior decoration until 1919; redesigned in 1966) by Eliel Saarinen, the »Wanemuine« theater (1906, remodeled in 1939; burned out in World War II) by A. E. Lindgren and the small theater (former German theater, 1918) built. With the reconstruction of the heavily destroyed city after 1944 (general development plan), new residential areas and public buildings were built (including the state academic theater “Wanemuine”, 1971, in place of the destroyed building).


The Estonian settlement of Tarpatu was conquered in 1030 by the Kiev prince Yaroslav the Wise, who built the castle. Conquered by the Brothers of the Sword in 1215 and renamed Dorpat, it became a bishopric in 1224 and was in the 13th-16th centuries. Century an important German Hanseatic city. Occupied by Russia in 1558, Tartu came under Polish-Lithuanian rule after the Livonian War in 1582, was conquered by Sweden in 1600 and was Polish again since 1603. Since 1625 Swedish again with the surrounding area, Tartu was conquered by Peter the Great in 1704 and officially came to Russia in the Peace of Nystad (1721). – The University, 1632 by Gustav Adolf Founded, closed in 1710, after its re-establishment (1802) following the example of German universities during the 19th century until Russification (since 1889), it was the spiritual center of Baltic Germanness.

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The peace treaties between Soviet Russia and Estonia (2. 2.) and Finland (14. 10.) were concluded in Tartu in 1920.


Tallinn (German Reval), capital of Estonia and an important (ice-free) Baltic Sea port on the Gulf of Finland, with (2019) 434 600 residents.

Tallinn is the country’s economic, scientific and cultural center with universities, academies, museums and theaters. The economy is determined by the service sector (banking, trade, tourism, etc.); most Estonian industrial companies have their headquarters in Tallinn.

Tallinn was badly damaged during World War II; the streets were reconstructed according to plans from the 18th century. Significant architectural monuments include Cathedral, City Hall, House of the Great Guild and the Olaikirche. In the eastern part of the city is the former Katharinental Palace (built 1718–23 for Tsar Peter I the Great).

Estonia Country and People