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Destination Details

Rakvere, Estonia

Rakvere is close to the north coast and Lahemaa National Park.

It is dominated by a medieval castle and by a giant statue of 'Tarvas' the bull. It's a small, attractive and developing city and hosts a growing number of art events.

Rakvere is Estonia’s fifth largest city, situated in northern Estonia, 20 km south of the Gulf of Finland.

In 1226, Henrik of Latvia wrote the Chronicle of Livonia, which included a description of an ancient Estonian wooden castle located on hill nearby. After the Livonian War the wooden fortress ruins were replaced by a large and powerful stone castle. The castle's ruins are nowadays Rakvere’s main tourist attraction. You can eat medieval dishes, see the medieval armour exhibition, visit the horror and torture chambers and even try your hand at archery.

Near the castle stands one of the symbols of the town- a Bull (locals emphasise that it’s not actually a bull, but an Auroch ) or “Tarvas” statue made by Estonian sculptor, Tauno Kangro. It’s seven metres long, four metres high and weighs about seven tons. Tarvas is considered to be the largest animal statue in the Baltic countries.

Rakvere is also an attractive and rapidly developing town with quite an interesting character, for example, Rakvere is the place where the first Estonian Punk Song Festival took place. It’s also the host to the well-known international rock music festival “Green Christmas.” Since 1994, a biannual international theatre festival, called Baltoscandal has taken place in Rakvere and a lot of young stage directors are willing to come here to experience and work in the unique, friendly and slightly crazy atmosphere of the Europe’s smallest theatre city. So it’s no wonder, that the motto of Rakvere is “full of power”.

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