Haapsalu ( German and Swedish Haapsalu ) is a city in Estonia.

  • 4.1 Structures
  • 4.2 Railway
  • 4.3 Legend of the White Lady
  • 4.4 Regular events
  • 5.1 Sons and daughters of the town
  • 5.2 Further connected to Haapsalu personalities


Haapsalu is located on the west coast of Estonia and is similar to a resort town Pärnu with mild climate. Because of its many waterways, the city in Estonia and the "Venice of the North" or called "the Venice of the Baltic Sea".


The city was founded in 1260-1270. It goes back to the seat of the diocese was founded here Osel - Wiek. The first mention was in 1279, when the then -called Hapsal place for 300 years to the center of the diocese was. The impressive, located on an artificial hill Bishop's Castle, which is surrounded by a 803 m long wall and preserved in ruins, still reminds us of that time.

When the bishopric moved to Kuressaare (Estonian Kuressaare ), the city lost more and more important. This development did not end until the beginning of the 19th century. Then The Baltic German physician Carl Abraham Hunnius discovered the healing properties of the mud of Haapsalu, founded in 1825 a first sanatorium and established the city quickly as fashionable health resort. It houses resorts and sludge treatment centers were built. The Russian Tsar Romanov family appreciated the spa, which especially in summer attracts many Estonian and foreign visitors earlier today.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is said to have his 6th symphony written in his summer house in Haapsalu.

A typical souvenirs are the woolen shawls made ​​in Haapsalu.


City ​​council

The city council was elected last October 18, 2009 to four years and consists of 21 members. Chairman is Jaanus Karilaid. Mayor of the city is Urmas Sukles.


Haapsalu maintains partnerships with cities

  • Finland Loviisa in Finland
  • Germany Rendsburg in Germany (since 1989)
  • Netherlands Almere, Netherlands
  • Sweden Eskilstuna in Sweden
  • Portugal Fundão in Portugal
  • Italy Greve in Chianti in Italy
  • Sweden Haninge in Sweden
  • Finland Hanko in Finland
  • Ukraine Uman in Ukraine
  • United Kingdom Weymouth in Great Britain
  • Russia Borowitschi in Russia

Culture and sights

The cultural life awakens in Haapsalu in the summer. Then, several festivals take place in the coastal town.


The main attractions are the bishop's castle, the promenade ( Promenaad ), on the already strolled artists such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the painter Nikolai Roerich, and the Kursaal ( Kuursaal, built in 1898 ).

Haapsalu is rich in Art Nouveau villas that are gradually being restored. Probably the oldest still preserved monument for Friedrich Schiller stands since 1957 in Läänemaa Muuseum the city. It was in 1813 on the nearby peninsula Puhu ( German Pucht ) by Dorothea Augusta von Rosen ( 1781-1826 ), a friend of Schiller's wife constructed.

Castle ruins

Orthodox Church

Hall Haapsalu


In addition, Haapsalu has the station to the (at the time of its creation ) longest with 214 m covered platform in Europe. The station, built by the St. Petersburg architect Verheim 1907, is now only a monument and museum. He was the endpoint of 1905 opened rail line from Keila, near the capital Tallinn to Haapsalu. The realized with the support of Tsar railway project reflects the former importance of the town as a health resort. After the independence of Estonia in 1991, tourism has been developed, although again, but no longer supported rail accessibility. The section Riisipere - Haapsalu in 1995 amid protests from the population closed for passenger and dismantled in 2004. On the remaining tracks in the station area today are historic locomotives and cars, and in a part of the railway station, a railway museum is housed.

From the Railway Museum is launching a 50 km cycle path along the former railway line to Riisipere where rail connection to Tallinn is. This is an EU tourist investment, which opens up the long route between Tallinn and Haapsalu for cycling better.

Water tower on the former station

Ambulance on the former station

Soviet steam locomotive L -1646 SZD series Л, built in 1951 at the Railway Museum

Legend of the White Lady

The legend of the White Lady tells that once fell in love with a canon in a girl and this dressed as a choirboy smuggled into the bishop's castle. When it was discovered the affair, the canon was thrown into prison, where he died of starvation, while the girl was alive immured in the wall of which was just emerging church. Since then, there appears in the middle window in full moon nights of August, a flash shadow that similarity with the outline of a female figure has. Every year at this time the festival "Days of Our White Lady " ( Valge Daami aeg ) instead.

Regular events

  • Early Music Festival
  • Violin Festival Viiulimängud
  • Pyotr Tchaikovsky - music festival
  • August Blues Festival ( Augustibluus )
  • Valge Daami aeg


Sons and daughters of the town

  • Evert Horn (1585-1615), Swedish Field Marshal
  • Gustav Adolph Oldekop (1755-1838), poet
  • Friedrich von Lowis of Monar (1767-1824), Russian Imperial Lieutenant General, District Marshal of Livonia
  • Paul Prittwitz (1791-1856), Imperial Russian lieutenant general and Senator
  • Prince Alexander Gorchakov (1798-1883), Russian diplomat, Foreign Minister and Chancellor
  • Ferdinand Wiedemann (1805-1887), linguist deutschbaltischer
  • Nikolai Vekšin (1887-1951), sailor
  • Fred of Hoerschelmann (1901-1976), author of radio plays deutschbaltischer
  • Andres Põder (* 1949), Lutheran theologian, Archbishop of Tallinn
  • Leili Pärnpuu ( b. 1950 ), chess player
  • Andres Lipstok ( born 1957 ), economist and politician
  • Heiki Kranich (* 1961), politician
  • Heidi Rohi (* 1966), epee fencer
  • Kaido Kaaberma (* 1968), épée fencers
  • Curve Palo (* 1972), politician
  • Eda -Ines Etti ( born 1981 ), singer

More connected to Haapsalu personalities

  • Ilon Wikland ( born 1930 ), born in Tartu, emigrated to Sweden, children's book illustrator