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Friday, March 18, 2011

Estonia - Coat of Arms 2006

Lääne-Viru (West-Viru) County
Price: 0.28
Date: 25 January 2006
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 1 280 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Lääne-Viru is a North-Estonian county (maakond) on the Gulf of Finland. It has an area of 3,627 square kilometres and its population in 2005 was about 70,000. Apart from the county seat of Rakvere, the county has three other towns. The nature is varied and the different landscapes, all with their peculiar vegetation and types of forests, lie in zones from the coastline to the southern boundary line. Straddling the border with the neighbouring Harju County is the Lahemaa National Park, the first in Estonia and, when it was established in 1971, also in the Soviet Union. With its forests and nature trails, restored manor complexes, the skippers’ village of Käsmu and the fishermen’s hamlet of Altja it is highly popular with tourists. Further south, the Pandivere Upland with its numerous springs giving rise to several rivers could be called the water pump of Estonia. The county has a well-developed industrial sector, intensive agriculture and business life. The main areas are food, woodworking, forestry, building materials and trade. Lääne-Virumaa has age-old folk dancing and singing traditions, and today the Viru Säru Festival draws international participants. A monument to the Estonian language stands at Kadrina, the letter õ for a typical Estonian sound was invented in Viru-Nigula and the county seat of Rakvere of just 17,500 inhabitants has a thriving professional theatre and art centre.

Põlva County
Price: 0.28
Date: 08 February 2006
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 1 250 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Põlva County is situated in southeastern Estonia, stretching from the Otepää Highlands in the west to Lakes Lämmijärv and Pihkva (Pskov) in the east. In the southeast, the county borders on the Pskov Region of the Russian Federation. The county has a territory of 2,165 square kilometres and a population of 32,800, of these 9,500 in the two towns, Põlva and Räpina. The main sources of livelihood are agriculture, forestry, industry (dairy products, wood, flax and vegetable processing) as well as services to tourists. The county has 14 local governments. The population is very homogeneous, practically all the inhabitants being ethnic Estonians. In parts of the county the people still daily use the ancient South-Estonian dialect. Nearly 40 percent of the territory is arable land, forests making up another 40 percent. Large tracts of the land are in a near-pristine state. The relief is overwhelmingly varied with 125 lakes in valleys between round hillocks mainly in the western part. The Ahja and the Võhandu have beautiful sandstone outcrops along parts of their course. Põlva County is an area of balanced development famous for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful scenery, a safe living and working environment with growing popularity among tourists and holiday-makers.

Pärnu County
Price: 0.28
Date: 08 March 2006
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 1 210 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Pärnumaa, lying in the southeast of Estonia on the Gulf of Riga, has the largest territory among Estonian counties (4,807 square kilometres), being home to nearly 90,000 people. The county has the oldest known settlement sites in Estonia, Pulli and Reiu, that are dated back to 11,000 years ago. It was established on the basis of the 13th to 16th century Pärnu commandery of the Teutonic Order as well as later Polish, Swedish and Russian administrative units. In the 19th century Pärnu was one of the centres of the national movement. The first president of the Republic of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, was born in Tahkuranna. The history of the county seat of Pärnu goes back to 1251. It is known as a resort town since the mid-19th century and is nowadays declared the summer capital of the country for the summer months. Besides, the county has two towns and 19 other local governments, including the Gulf of Riga island of Kihnu. The device on the golden shield of the Pärnu County coat of arms is a black bear standing up on its hind legs, with the eye, fangs and claws in silver and the tongue red.

Rapla County
Price: 0.28
Date: 06 September 2006
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 1 660 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Rapla County (2,979 square kilometres, 37,000 inhabitants) is situated in North and Central Estonia and lies largely on the North-Estonian limestone bedrock. It is an area of big forests and bogs. The main source of livelihood is agriculture, but glass, paper and other branches of industry are also represented in the county. The county has several prehistoric strongholds and numerous more recent manor halls. Every August Rapla’s imposing twin-steepled Mary Magdalene Church hosts an international church music festival. Rapla is one of the youngest counties in Estonia, formed during a campaign of Soviet reorganization in 1950 when the southern part of Harju County was set off as a separate administrative unit. It was extended in another campaign in 1959–1962 at the expense of territories that had earlier belonged to the neighbouring Järva, Lääne and Pärnu counties. Also the coat of arms of the county symbolizes this amalgamation of four different parts.

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