Estonia (Estonian: Eesti [ˈeːsʲti] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a country on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. The territory of Estonia consists of the mainland and of 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Tartu are the largest cities and urban areas in the country. Other notable cities include Narva, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve and Viljandi. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second-most-spoken Finnic language.
Tallinn (/ˈtɑːlɪn, ˈtælɪn/; Estonian: [ˈtɑlʲˑinˑ]; names in other languages) is the capital, the most populous and primate city of Estonia. Located in the northern part of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea, it has a population of 437,619 in 2020. Administratively a part of Harju County, Tallinn is the main financial, industrial and cultural centre of Estonia; the second largest city, Tartu, is located in the southern part of Estonia, 187.2 kilometres (116.3 mi) southeast of Tallinn. Tallinn is located 80.32 kilometres (49.91 mi) south of Helsinki, Finland, 320.56 kilometres (199.19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, 300.84 kilometres (186.93 mi) north of Riga, Latvia, and 380 kilometres (240 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden. It has close historical ties with these four cities. From the 13th century until the first half of the 20th century Tallinn was known in most of the world by its historical German name Reval.
Tallinn, first mentioned in 1219, received city rights in 1248, but the earliest human settlements date back 5,000 years. The first recorded claim over the land was laid by Denmark in 1219, after a successful raid of Lyndanisse led by King Valdemar II, followed by a period of alternating Scandinavian and Teutonic rulers. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub, especially from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League. Tallinn’s Old Town in Kesklinn is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tallinn has the highest number of start-ups per person among European countries and is the birthplace of many international high technology companies, including Skype and Transferwise. The city is to house the headquarters of the European Union’s IT agency. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. In 2007 Tallinn was listed among the top ten digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland.