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Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Although it shares a similar geography and history with Latvia and Lithuania, its closest cultural and linguistic ties are with Finland. Tallinn is the capital city while other notable cities include the oldest city Tartu and historical resort city Pärnu.

During the middle ages, Estonia was ruled by Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland. After centuries of foreign rule, an Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th century. With the collapse of the Russian and German empires at the end of the First World War, Estonia became an independent nation in 1920. Independence was short-lived – during the Second World War Estonia was repeatedly contested and occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union, ultimately being incorporated into the latter as the Estonian SSR. Estonia restored its independence in 1991 as a result of the five-year Singing Revolution. Music was the weapon of choice when fighting for independence, where Estonians used song to demand it. The spirit of song continues in Estonia. Every five years, the Song Festival Grounds welcome more than 30,000 singers and an audience of 80,000 people.

Unlike the stereotypes many people have about ex-Eastern bloc countries, Estonia is a modern and tech-forward country – it has more start-ups per person than Silicon Valley!