|Town and municipality|
Elva town hall
|Town rights||1 May 1938|
|• Total||9.92 km2 (3.83 sq mi)|
|• Density||570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
Elva has two larger lakes. Lake Verevi has a sandy and well-developed beach area that is very popular in the summer and is host to many outdoor events. Lake Arbi has wet reed grown shores. Elva's largest employer (and in all of southern Estonia) is Enics Eesti AS, subsidiary of Enics Group, providing electronics manufacturing services in industrial electronics. Elva has one school, Elva Gümnaasium, offering education from 1st grade to high school graduation.
A dominant element in Elva is the train station which today is a visitors' information center and which used to be an important trade route in the past centuries.
Detailed information on hikes on foot or by bicycle can be obtained from the visitors' information center. The Elva river, with old water mill sites and rapid banks, is popular for canoeing. In winter skiers can participate in the Tartu Marathon, belonging to the Worldloppet series. Its 60 km track from Otepää to Elva can be cycled through on mountain bikes in summer.
History of Elva
Elva is named after the Elva river that has been mentioned in books already in the 17th century.
In 1913 a two grade school was opened.
On 1 May 1938 Elva became a town.
The town center was heavily damaged in the Second World War. In July 1941 Elva was liberated by the Forest Brothers. In August 1944 surroundings of Elva became a bloody battlefield between Hyazinth von Strachwitz's Panzer brigade and the Red Army.
From 1950 to 1962 Elva was District Central of Elva district. Elva's town rights were restored in 1965.
- Leopold Hansen (1879–1964), actor and theatre director; lived in Elva
- Valter Heuer (1928–2006), chess player and chess gistorian; was born in Elva
- Richard Janno (1900–1942), writer, journalist and teacher; lived in Elva 1936–1942
- Ain Kaalep (born 1926), poet and writer; lives in Elva
- Jaan Kärner (1891–1958), poet and writer; Lived in Elva 1921–1936
- Kerli (born 1987), singer; was born and grew up in Elva
- Tarmo Kikerpill (born 1977), basketball player; was born in Elva
- Urmas Kruuse (born 1965), politician; was born and lived in Elva, was the Mayor of Elva 2002–2007
- Eduard Kutsar (1902–1970), painter; lived in Elva 1944–1970
- Karl Muru (born 1927), literary scientist and critic; lives in Elva
- Jim Ollinovski (1974–1993), poet, writer and artist; was born and lived in Elva
- Hugo Raudsepp (1883–1952), playwright; lived in Elva
- Johannes Silvet (1895–1979), lexicographer
- Peeter Sink (1902–1957), painter and poet; lived in Elva in the 1950s
- Luisa Värk (born 1987), singer; was born and grew up in Elva
- Caspar Austa (born 1982), cyclist
Twin towns — Sister cities
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