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Tallinn, Estonia
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    (1154- )
    Capital and largest city of Estonia
    Area: 159.2 km²
    Population: 434,330 (November 1, 2014)
    Name means 'Danish town', 'winter town', or 'farmstead town'
    Formerly known as Reval (1219-1917, 1941-1944)
    Traditionally consisted of three parts: Toompea, the seat of central authority; the Old Town, the trade hub in the past; and the Estonian town, where most people reside
    First mentioned by Almoravid traveler Muhammad al-Idrisi as 'Qlwn' or 'Qalaven' (1154)
    Ruled by the Danes until they sold it to the Teutonic Order (1219-1345)
    Gained town rights (May 15, 1248)
    Joined the Hanseatic League (1284)
    Ruled by Sweden as a dominion (1561-1710)
    Ruled by Russia after the latter captured it during the Great Northern War (1710-1918)
    Made capital of independent Estonia for the first time (February 24, 1918-August 6, 1940)
    Annexed into the Soviet Union (1940, September 23, 1944-August 20, 1991)
    Occupied by Nazi Germany (August 28, 1941-September 23, 1944)
    Made capital of independent Estonia again (August 20, 1991)
    Its Catholic churches were ransacked when the Reformation was in full swing in Estonia.
    It was struck by a plague that killed 15,000 people. (1710)
    During the Cold War, the Soviets used it as a place to spy on Helsinki and jam its broadcasts.
    The decision to relocate a war cemetery dedicated to Soviet soldiers who died in World War II, including the iconic Bronze Soldier, sparked two nights of rioting. (April 26-27, 2007)
    Foreign plated cars often get looted in the passenger port area and its surrounding streets.
    Lasnamäe district is full of grim Soviet-style apartment blocks.
    It benefited from its strategic position at the crossroads of trade between Western Europe and Russia.
    It was a famous summer resort for wealthy Russians during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
    Its medieval Old Town retains much of its charm despite heavy bombing by the Soviet air force during World War II.
    Its St. Olaf's Cathedral was said to be the world's tallest building for a time. (1549-1625)
    Every five years since 1869, it holds an Estonian Song Celebration, which has been recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.
    It hosted the sailing events of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Pirita district.

Credit: Big Lenny

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