Haapsalu

Haapsalu is an idyllic seaside town with charming artist cafes, impressive medieval castle ruins, seaside boulevards, curative muds and many spas and sanatoriums.

In 1825, the first sanatorium was opened and Haapsalu became quickly a popular destination among St Petersburg nobility. When even the royal family showed interest, the status of this charming town was definitively assured. Tsar Nicholas the First came in 1852 to Haapsalu and later also the successor Alexander the Second paid many visits to this beautiful seaside town.

It is noteworthy that one of the greatest composers in the history, Pjotr Tchaikovsky paid his first visit to Haapsalu in 1867 and many important masterpieces of Tchaikovsky’s music were written in Haapsalu. Inhabitants commemorate this famous resident of the city with a marble bench on the Haapsalu seafront.

Haapsalu Castle was built on the 13th century and even today many events, concerts and festivals take place there during the summertime.

Haapsalu Castle is also known for the White Lady (Valge Daam) legend, one of the most famous ghosts in Estonia. Appearing only once in a year at the castle windows she disappears again into the darkness of the castle walls where she was buried alive. This appearance of the White Lady is celebrated in August with the White Lady Days with audio-visual performances and concerts. 

Along with the railway museum, beach walk and sophisticated cultural programmes especially during a summertime, major attractions of Haapsalu also include Epp Maria Kokamägi Gallery and the Cake and Wine Room - a very cosy and characteristic gallery and cafeteria where one can admire the masterpieces of this unique artist and compose literature, music and create art.