City of Pärnu
|• Total||32.22 km2 (12.44 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Area code(s)||(+372) 44|
Pärnu (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈpærˑnu]; German: Pernau) is the fourth largest city in Estonia. Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is 128 kilometres (80 mi) north of Pärnu, and Tartu, Estonia's second largest city, is 176 kilometres (109 mi) east of Pärnu. Located 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 holiday resort with many hotels, restaurants, and large beaches. The Pärnu River flows through the city and drains into the Gulf of Riga. The city was served by Pärnu Airport.
Perona (German: Alt-Pernau, Estonian: Vana-Pärnu), which was founded by the bishop of Ösel–Wiek c. 1251, suffered heavily under pressure of the concurrent town, and was finally destroyed c. 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 and Lithuanians fought the Swedes nearby in 1609. Sweden took control of the town during the 16th-century Livonian War as part of Swedish Livonia, although it was not formally ceded by Poland-Lithuania until the 1660 Treaty of Oliva. Sweden then lost Livonia to the Russian Empire in the 1710 Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia and the 1721 Treaty of Nystad, following the Great Northern War. It belonged to the Imperial Russian Governorate of Livonia until 1917, when it was transferred to the short-lived Autonomous Governorate of Estonia. The city is occasionally referred to as Pyarnu, an incorrect reverse-transliteration from the Russian Пярну.
The town became part of independent Estonia in 1918 following World War I.
The city was occupied by the Soviet Red Army along with the rest of Estonia in 1940 during World War II, and its German population left the town. It was then occupied by Germany from 1941 until 1944 before it was reoccupied by the Soviet Union as part of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1944–1991.
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).
In 2002 a war memorial was erected in Pärnu showing a bas-relief of a soldier in a Waffen SS uniform along with the words: “To all Estonian soldiers who died in the war of liberation for their country and a free Europe in the years 1941–1945.”
Districts of Pärnu
There are nine districts of Pärnu: Kesklinn, Karja alev, Riia alev, Lodja, Raeküla, Rääma, Tammiste, Vana-Pärnu and Ülejõe.
Pärnu lies within the temperate humid continental climate zone.
|Climate data for Pärnu (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||9.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−1.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−32.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||60
|Average relative humidity (%)||88||86||82||75||70||74||76||79||83||86||89||89||81|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||35.9||67.9||130.7||198.7||288.9||281.3||297.4||246.9||159.7||95.5||39||26.1||1,863.6|
|Source: Estonian Weather Service|
|Nationality||2000 census||2011 census|
|Language||2000 census||2011 census|
Today Pärnu is an economically balanced region with a comprehensive range of industries. Foreign investments and new businesses with up-to-date technologies have enhanced job creation and higher competitiveness of the businesses in the world markets. Several enterprises of Pärnu region stand out as the best in Estonia.
Significant flows of exports from Pärnu region and South-Estonia pass through the Port of Pärnu which lies at the mouth of the Pärnu River. In recent years, the port has developed into an important regional harbour for south-western and southern Estonia.
Pärnu's fame as a rehabilitation and holiday resort dates back to the middle of the 19th century. The foundation of the first bathing facility in 1838 is considered the birth date of Pärnu resort. Today Pärnu has all desirable qualities of a modern holiday resort – it has spas and rehabilitation centres, hotels, conference and concert venues, golf courses and tennis courts, restaurants and pubs. Long tradition of as a resort has made Pärnu well known in Finland and Scandinavian countries. In Finland, Naantali would largely correspond to Pärnu as a summer holiday city.
In 1837, a tavern near the beach was made into a bathing establishment. The establishment 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.
Starting from 2015 the city of Pärnu hosts the annual Weekend Festival, the largest dance music festival in the Nordic and Baltic region. Stages are headlined by DJs from across the electronic dance music spectrum, with audiovisual support. Some of the past and upcoming artists to perform include Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Avicii, Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Robin Schulz, Afrojack, deadmau5, Knife Party and many more.
Pärnu is also known for its seawall. According to legend, if a couple holds hands while journeying along the wall and kisses at its endpoint they will stay together forever.
- Gustav Fabergé, jeweller
- Johann Voldemar Jannsen, Estonian journalist and poet
- Tõnis Kasemets, race-car driver who has competed in ChampCar and IMSA
- Paul Keres, chess grandmaster
- Lydia Koidula, poet
- Kaie Kõrb, prima ballerina
- Karin Luts, Estonian artist
- Friedrich Martens, lawyer
- David Oistrakh, violinist
- Liisa Pulk, actress
- Rasmus Rändvee, singer
- Salme Reek, actress
- Georg Wilhelm Richmann, German physicist
- David Samoylov, poet
- August Sang, poet
- Olev Siinmaa, architect
- David Shrayer-Petrov, poet, fiction writer, translator, medical scientist
- Maxim D. Shrayer, author and literary scholar
- Avo Sõmer, musicologist, music theorist, composer
Significant depictions in popular culture
- Pernau (Pärnu) is one of the starting towns of the State of the Teutonic Order in the turn-based strategy game Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms.
- Population by sex, age and place of residence after the 2017 administrative reform, 1 January. Statistics Estonia.
- University of Tartu Pärnu College
- Daniel Lazare: Timothy Snyder’s Lies. Jacobin magazine, 9 September 2014.
- "Climate normals-Temperature". Estonian Weather Service. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Climate normals-Precipitation". Estonian Weather Service. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Climate normals-Humidity". Estonian Weather Service. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Climate normals-Sunshine". Estonian Weather Service. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- Short history – VisitPärnu.com
- "The Teutonic Order (M2TW-K-TC faction)". wiki.totalwar.com. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pärnu.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pärnu.|