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Friday, March 18, 2011

Estonia - Coat of Arms 2008


Valga County
Price: 0.35 Euro
Date: 07 February 2008
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 2 715 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Valga County (Estonian: Valgamaa) lies in southern Estonia and as it has a common border of 101 kilometres with Latvia, it is deservedly called the south gate of Estonia. The landscape is picturesque and changing – there are flat areas, moraine heights, big forests, numerous scenic lakes and winding rivers. The territory of the county is 2,046 square kilometres and it had 35,000 inhabitants at the beginning of 2008. The Valga County in its present boundaries was formed in 1920 of the town of Valga and parts of the neighbouring counties. This makes the county quite an exciting place – you can find in it cultural influences of Tartu County, as well as dialectal and cultural features of both southern Viljandi County and of the Võru area. But the past of the historical Valgamaa goes back much farther – to the time of Empress Catherine II who issued a ukase on 3 July 1873 by which the present Valga County was formed of the northeastern parts of the Riga and Cesis counties. Valga County and the town of Valga have always been seen as the focal point of Livonia, where people used to meet to settle important matters. Valgamaa is a county with a venerable past, and thanks to its attractiveness it is a pleasant place to rest, to live and to work. The Estonian-Latvian town of Valga-Valka was granted a city charter by King Stefan Batory of Poland back in 1584, the Helme-Tõrva area is the location of the singular mausoleum of the Russian army leader Barclay de Tolly, while Otepää, often called the Pearl of Estonia, is known far and wide as a ski resort.

Viljandi County
Price: 0.35 Euro
Date: 27 March 2008
Print: ofset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 2 930 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

Viljandi County (Est: Viljandimaa) lies in the Sakala Upland with deep primeval valleys cutting into it. Estonia's largest inland water body, Lake Võrtsjärv, spreads in the eastern part of the county, while the western part is taken up by big wetlands of the Soomaa National Park traversed by several tributaries of the River Pärnu and boasting a fifth season – high water. The county has 55,000 inhabitants and is divided into 15 local government units. The county town of Viljandi is known as the seat of a theatre and the venue of various cultural events, not least the summer Folk Music Festival when the town sees the number of its residents double. Northern Viljandimaa is proud to be the birthplace of the Kapp family of composers and of the 13th century Sakala elder, Lembitu, who put up a fierce resistance to invaders. The eagle holding a bared sword in its claws in the coat-of-arms of the county symbolyses the freedom eventually won, while the ears of corn in the small shield represent fertility – southern Viljandimaa, the Mulk Country, in particular has always been known for its industry and prosperity.

Võru County
Price: 0.35 Euro
Date: 30 OCtober 2008
Print: offset
Designer: Lembit Lõhmus
Sheets: 5 x 5
Quantity issued: 1 650 000
Printing house: AS Vaba Maa

With nearly 39,000 inhabitants and a territory of 2,305 square kilometres Võru County lies in Estonia’s far southeastern corner and it has a common border with Latvia and Russia. Stone age settlement sites at Kääpa, on the Võhandu River and at Roosisaare are regarded as the oldest, going back 5,000 years. Today the county has 12 rural communities and the County seat of Võru, which was granted the status of a town in 1784. The communities fall into two historial regions – the Võru and the Seto cultural areas where the local dialects and traditions are still honoured today. Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald lived for 44 years as a doctor in Võru and it was there that he produced all his literary work, including the Estonian national epic, Kalevipoeg. The county is famed for its picturesque scenery – it has the highest point in the Baltic countries, Suur Munamägi, and numerous rounded hills covered with forests. Of the valleys lying between the hills Ööbikuorg (Nightingale Valley) is known the best; it also has the deepest lake in Estonia, Rõuge Suurjärv. They say that Võru County is a part of Estonia where you can be alone with nature – travelling there you may end up in places where it seems as if no one has been there before. With his warm heart a Võrokõnõ takes care of the world and its creatures.

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