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Small borough
View from the location of the former Oru Palace.
View from the location of the former Oru Palace.
Toila is located in Estonia
Location in Estonia
Coordinates: 59°25′14″N 27°30′35″E / 59.42056°N 27.50972°E / 59.42056; 27.50972Coordinates: 59°25′14″N 27°30′35″E / 59.42056°N 27.50972°E / 59.42056; 27.50972
Country Estonia
County Ida-Viru County
Municipality Toila Parish
Population (2011 Census[1])
 • Total 780

Toila is a small borough (alevik) in Ida-Viru County, in northeastern Estonia. It's located about 10 km (6 mi) northeast from the town of Jõhvi, on the coast of the Narva Bay (part of Gulf of Finland). Toila is known as an important sea resort in Estonia, with a spa hotel, beach and a beautiful park (Oru Park). Toila is the administrative centre of Toila Parish. As of 2011 Census, the settlement's population was 780, of which the Estonians were 628 (80.5%).[1]


The existence of an ancient settlement in Toila is suggested by a sacred grove (hiis) on a high coastal cliff, offering springs of Pühajõgi River, and an offering stone in the current park. The oldest found tarand grave in Virumaa is located beside the current Toila cemetery. The burials there took place in two periods: 2nd–4th and 7th–8th centuries AD.[2][3]

The first written record about the Toila area Danish Census Book, mentions the neighbouring Pühajõe as a village with a size of 6 hides.[2] In 1426 neighbouring Kärilõpe village (now Altküla) was mentioned. In 1547 the site of nowadays Toila was mentioned as Männiku, where a knight manor was situated.[4]

During the Great Northern War, Russian cavlary general Boris Sheremetev built reduits around Pühajõgi, to hinder Charles XII in approaching the Battle of Narva.[2]

Toila as a summer resort was discovered in the middle of the 19th century. The first tens of summer cottages were erected in the 1870s. On the second half of the century, a harbour was built to the estuary of the Pühajõgi River. Among local folks it became known as the "King's Jetty" (Kuninga muul). In 1914, the number of vacationists exceeded a thousand, while the number of residents was around 500. After the World War I, the number of vacationists from Russia drastically decreased and Toila was used by only several hundred of vacationists, mostly Estonian intellectuals.[2][3]

In the end of the 19th century Russian merchant Grigory Yeliseyev bought land for his new summer residence in Toila. A palace in the Italian renaissance style designed by Gavriil Baranovsky and a large park by Georg Kuphaldt were established. From 1934 to 1940 the palace, known as Oru Palace, was used as the summer residence of the first Estonian president Konstantin Päts. The palace was destroyed in the Second World War.

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Number and share of Estonians by place of residence (settlement)". Statistics Estonia. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Toila kuurorttoote perspektiivse väljaarendamise kava" (in Estonian). Toila vallavalitsus. 2008. p. 30. 
  3. ^ a b "Toila alevik" (in Estonian). Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Toila kodulugu" (in Estonian). Toila Gymnasium. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Lauwers, Lenie (1993). Igor'-Severjanin. Peeters Publishers. ISBN 90-6831-491-2. 

External links[edit]