Estonia 100 Opening Event: 100 years from unification of the lands settled by Estonians

Family event
Wheelchair friendly

Please register to a hike along the former border between the Governorate of Estonia and the Governorate of Livonia here:

A hundred years ago the lands settled by Estonians were divided between the Governorate of Estonia and the Governorate of Livonia. Even though Estonians lived and the Estonian language was spoken both in the Governorate of Estonia and the northern part of the Governorate of Livonia, those settlements were separated by a strict border. After the February Revolution in Russia in 1917, Estonian nationalists started to demand that the Russian Provisional Government establish a unified and autonomous national governorate. To this end, a demonstration was organised in Petrograd on April 8, 1917, after which on April 12 the Russian Provisional Government issued a decree to join the counties of Pärnu, Saare, Tartu, Viljandi and Võru in the Governorate of Livonia with the Governorate of Estonia. The lands on which Estonians had lived for thousands of years were once again united, and we could now enjoy the sea views, the silence of the marsh and the scent of our spruce and pine forests without a dividing border.

On 16 April 2017, 23 groups of hikers will head out along the former border between the Governorate of Estonia and the Governorate of Livonia – from the shore of Lake Peipus in the east to the shore of the Baltic Sea in the west. Each group will hike through their predetermined part of the journey and by nightfall, the entire border, even through the swamps and bogs, will have been traversed. The hikers will carry GPS devices which will allow everyone to follow their path on Estonian Television to watch the border between Southern and Northern Estonia “disappear”. In addition to these “border erasers”, another 3000 hikers will set out to discover Estonia along 18 different routes, accompanied by locals from the area. The hikers will make their way to one of nine community centres located near the former governorate border, where they will be welcomed with hot soup and a celebration. Northern-Estonians will meet up with Southern-Estonians and they will no longer be divided by a border.

Erasing the border will bring out the contour of OUR LAND, as the first stage of the Estonia 100 celebrations has been named. This will be marked in the village of Kurgja at a preview concert of this summer’s Youth Song and Dance Celebration “Here I’ll Stay”. After the concert, the singers and dancers will light the fire of the summer song and dance festivals, the fire in our hearts, while hikers at the other meeting places will also gather around campfires. At the same time, everyone in Estonia can join in the event by using Estonia 100 app on their mobile phones to display a light on the screen marking their location on the map of Estonia. It will not take long for the entire map to be covered with twinkling lights. This is where we live, and we like it here.

The opening event and information about the upcoming Estonia 100 programme will be broadcast on Estonian Television throughout the day on April 16th.

As a prologue to the Estonia 100 celebrations, a concert and service was held St. John’s Church in St. Petersburg, Russia on April 8th, to mark the starting point of the demonstration by Estonians to demand autonomy 100 years earlier. As a second part of the prologue, the historic decision to join the two governorates was commemorated on April 12th at a concert and service in St. Michael’s Church in Lääne county, whose parish was once split between the two governorates. 


You can now download the app which serves as a gateway to all the latest Estonia 100 news and events, and lets you save events on your own personal calendar. The app has been especially created by the telecommunications company Telia as a gift to the Republic of Estonia for its 100th anniversary.

When you press the heart icon on the app, your location will be marked by a little glowing dot on the map. This way, everyone in Estonia and everyone abroad can let others know where they are and that they are thinking about Estonia. Tune into the Estonia 100 opening event on April 16th on ETV or via the app to watch the map of Estonia and the map of world fill with tiny glowing dots.

If you do not own a smart phone, you can still let others know your location by calling the number 800 8100 locally in Estonia or clicking on the heart icon on the website

You can download the app for free here: Google Play and iTunes.