Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pärnu, Estonia

Pärnu is a small city in southwestern Estonia that sits on the Gulf of Riga.  The city is a popular vacation getaway and its beach is a big hit with Estonians, as well as, with Finnish and Russian tourists.

Pärnu was founded in 1251 and it is home to just over 41,000 people.

The city is roughly half way between Tallinn and Riga.  A 2.5 hour trip from either capital city makes for a good day trip.

The Monument to the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Estonia was unveiled in 2008.  It's a life size replica of the balcony where Estonia first proclaimed independence in 1918.

The Eliisabet Church was built in 1747 and inaugurated in 1750.  It is reputed to have one of the best organs in the country and the church is popular for concerts.

The Church of Jekaterina is a beautiful Baroque church.  The church was built in 1768 with financing provided by Russian Empress Catherine II.

The Tallinna Gate is the city's last remaining gate.  The Baroque gate was part of the city's medieval fortification system.

The Pärnu Town Hall dates back to 1797.

The August Jakobson Memorial was completed in 1973.  It commemorates the Estonian writer, politician and social activist.

The statue of Johann Voldemar Jannsen was unveiled in 2007.  He was a famous writer and also penned the words of the Estonian national anthem.

The Red Tower was built in the 15th century and served as a prison. 

The beach is what brings people to the town.  March, however, isn't exactly beach weather.

I've never seen frozen waves before.  Absolutely incredible!  There were even signs posted to warn people about walking on the ice.

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