Pärnu: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main Street of Parnu


Coat of arms
Pärnu is located in Estonia
Location of Pärnu
Coordinates: 58°23′N 24°30′E / 58.383°N 24.5°E / 58.383; 24.5
Country  Estonia
County Pärnu County
 - Total 32.22 km2 (12.4 sq mi)
Population (2004)
 - Total 44,568
 Density 1,383.2/km2 (3,582.5/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Pärnu (German: Pernau) is a city in southwestern Estonia on the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea. It is a popular summer vacation resort with many hotels, restaurants, and large beaches. The Pärnu River flows through the city. The city is served by Pärnu Airport.

The city is occasionally referred to as Pyarnu, an incorrect reverse-transliteration from Russian Пярну.



Perona, (German: Alt-Pernau, Estonian: Vana-Pärnu) was founded by the bishop of Ösel-Wiek ca. 1251, suffered heavily under pressure of the concurrent town, and was finally destroyed ca. 1600. Another town, Embeke (later German: Neu-Pernau, Estonian: Uus-Pärnu) was founded by the Livonian Order, who began building an Ordensburg nearby in 1265. The latter town, then known by the German name of Pernau, was a member of the Hanseatic League and an important ice-free harbor for Livonia. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took control of town between 1560-1617; the Poles fought the Swedes nearby in 1609. Sweden took control of the town during the 16th century Livonian War, but it was subsequently taken by the Russian Empire in the 1710 Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia and the 1721 Treaty of Nystad, following the Great Northern War.

The town became part of independent Estonia in 1918 following World War I.

During the Great Northern War, the University of Dorpat (Tartu) was relocated to Pernau from 1699-1710. The university has a branch campus in Pärnu today (1,000 students in the 2004/2005 school year).


1881 1897 1922 1934 1959 1970 1979 1989 2000 2009
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Local administration consists of the town council and the town government. Town council elections take place every three years. The current town council was elected in October 2005. The number of councillors depends on the population. The current number of councillors is 33.


The beach in Pärnu.
A street in the historic center of Pärnu at night.

Pärnu is a health resort of international stature. In addition to guests arriving from around fifty countries, it is also proved by its membership in the European Spas Association (since 2000) and the European Flag that has been flying at the beach of Pärnu since 2000. Many tourists in Pärnu are Finns and Estonians. Hotel and restaurant staff speak English, Russian and some Finnish in addition to Estonian.

In 1837, a few business-minded entrepreneurs decided to rebuild a lone tavern near the beach into a bathing establishment, thus preparing the ground for the development of the resort of Pärnu. This wooden building was the predecessor of the present-day mud baths. The establishment, which was opened in 1838, accommodated 5-6 bathrooms that provided hot seawater baths in summer and operated as a sauna in winter. The wooden building was burnt down in the course of World War I. In 1927, the present stone building of Pärnu Mud Baths was erected at the same site. Later, the wings were attached to the building to accommodate a bath unit and a pool.

Today, disorders of the joints, spinal column and peripheral nervous system, gynaecological problems and dysfunction of the central nervous system are treated at Pärnu Mud Baths. The therapies include hydrotherapy, mud and ozocerite therapies, massage, laser and electrotherapies, lymph and inhalation therapies, aromatherapy and ECG. There are 130 rooms in the hotel of the Mud Baths. Today, Pärnu is the most popular health tourism destination in Estonia.

Since 1996 Pärnu has been known as Estonia's Summer Capital.

Notable residents


This article incorporates information from the revision as of July 27, 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sand dunes in Pärnu
Sand dunes in Pärnu

Pärnu [1] [2] is a resort seaside city (and estonia's summer capital) with a small harbour in the South-Western part of Estonia.


The city is famous for its spas, shallow white sandy beach and beautiful parks. It is also a popular place for conferences, theatre performances and concerts. In 1838 the first spa was opened and nowadays Pärnu is a health resort of international stature.

During the Great Northern War, the University of Tartu was relocated to Pärnu from 1699-1710. Tartu University still has a branch campus there today.

Since 1996 Pärnu has been known as Estonia's Summer Capital. Beach life, dozens of festivals, night clubs, big party crowds, concerts and funfairs - Pärnu has it all.

Get in

By train

Pärnu has train connection to Tallinn. Trains depart from Tallinn and from Pärnu twice a day. Journey takes about 2,5 hours. Train schedules: Edelaraudtee

By car

Pärnu has road connections to Tallinn, Haapsalu, Tartu, Vändra, Paide and Riga in Latvia.

Distances table
1 km = 0.62 miles to Tallinn to Tartu to Viljandi to Narva to Paide to Haapsalu
from Pärnu 128 km 174 km 96 km 291 km 95 km 108 km

By bus

Buses arrive to Pärnu from Tallinn, Tartu, Haapsalu, Riga and several other places. Bus schedules and journey planner can be found at Bussireisid.

By boat

There is a ferry connection in from Kihnu (a small island in the Baltic Sea) to Pärnu and between Pärnu and Ruhnu. In winter there are also ice-roads between the islands of Pärnu bay.

Pärnu downtown
Pärnu downtown

By foot

Pärnu's old city is pretty small and navigateable by foot, but it's full of small boutiques. Lots of them are on Rüütli street.

By bus

Bus connection covers the whole city. There are 26 routes and their schedules can be found at Pärnu ATP-s website.

  • Old town with buildings even from medieval times
  • Beautiful wooden villas
  • Beach park and promenade
  • Pärnu, Lydia Koidula and Modern Art Museum and City gallery
  • Pärnu Town Hall, Nikolai tn 3, Pärnu. The Town Hall is located in a house built in 1797 by the merchant P.R. Harder. In 1804, the Russian czar Alexander I stayed in this house during his visit to Pärnu. A new art nouveau building with neo-baroque details was completed in 1911 to the north side of the town hall.  edit
  • Church of Jekaterina, Vee tn 8, Pärnu. Completed in 1768, the Church of Jekaterina is the most style pure and ample baroque church in Estonia. The church has influenced the development of orthodox church architecture in whole Balticum. To this day Pärnu Russian congregation operates in the church.  edit
  • Seegi Maja (the Almshouse), Hospidali tn 1, Pärnu. Seegi Maja (the Almshouse) is known to be the oldest building in Pärnu. It was built in 1658 on the remains of the old almshouse of the Holy Spirit's Church as a shelter to the sick and the cripples.Based on research on the wooden raft under the basement of the building, the old almshouse dates back to 1250-1350. The building was restored to look the way it did in the 17th century. It houses the St. Peterburg Hotel and the restaurant Seegi Maja.  edit
  • Statue of Raimond Valgre, Mere puiestee 22, Pärnu. The musician Raimond Valgre who played in Pärnu in 1930s and brought the town a lot of fame, can today be found sitting in the park near Kuursaal, as a bronze statue. You too can sit down next to the beloved Estonian composer and enjoy his beautiful compositions.  edit
  • Eliisabet's Church, Nikolai tn 22, Pärnu. Eliisabet's Church, inaugurated in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. One of the best organs in Estonia is in Eliisabet's Church and the place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers.  edit


Pärnu has a long beach that opens to the south and has lovely, almost white sand. It is a major Baltic seaside resort and as previously stated, the summer capital of Estonia.

Completed in 2006, the attractive Beach Promenade has the feeling of a real resort and makes the Summer Capital's beaches inviting even in bad weather! Well thought-out lighting keeps the beach active even when the sun goes down, and the playing colours of the fountains are a sight in themselves in the darkness of the night.

It may rain in summer, when it does many Estonian holiday makers go indoors to the Vee Park, which is an indoor water park at the largest beachside hotel. As water parks go, this one is fantastic, and insures that your few days at the beach won't be wasted because of inclement weather. There are lot of interesting historical buildings in the city center. You may ask special brochure and discover all of them by your own

Just south of downtown is a modern art museum and art school. Exhibits change frequently, and are often edgy and provocative.

Outdoor activities:

  • Horseback riding
    • Sassi Talu, Kabriste küla, Audru vald (18 km west of Pärnu), +372 56 467 301 (), [3]. European-standards excellent service and reception; good both for novice and for experienced riders.  edit

In winter time, consider one of the many spa hotels:

  • Spa Estonia [4] Modern and moderate-priced; great variety of medical treatment and procedures.
  • The Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival.   edit
  • David Oistrahh festival.  edit
  • Organ festival.  edit
  • Bacardi Feeling Beach festival.  edit
  • Hanseatic and Handicraft days.  edit
  • The Pärnu Jetty, Seedri tn 6, Pärnu. The jetty has gained a romantic aura as a place for lovers to take walks on; however, before taking a walk there, be sure to check the water level! The length of both jetties is a bit over two kilometres.  edit


Pärnu College of Tartu University[5] is located in Pärnu.

  • Spa Estonia [6]
  • Small historical hotel in the city centre: Pärnu Hotel Victoria [7]
  • Valgeranna, unspoilt beach just 8 kilometres from Pärnu
  • Kabli, quiet seaside village with bird-ringing centre and rural beaches
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




Proper noun


  1. City in Estonia.




Estonian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia et

Proper noun


  1. Pärnu


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