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parandi gustav adolf

There are a lot of men who ERR News have been pillars of Estonian nation- and culture building and whose habemed (beards) and vuntsid (moustaches) would qualify them as quite hipsterish today. And if they were all pictured in a row, would you be able to distinguish kes on kes (who's who)?...


There's Carl Robert Jakobson, who played a leading role during ärkamis/aeg (the period of Estonian national awakening) starting in the 1850s, aka Mr 500-kroon banknote, with a statue of his likeness in Viljandi; Jakob Hurt, known as the king of Estonian folklore during the late 19th century, aka Mr 10-kroon banknote, with a statue of his likeness in Tartu; statesman Jaan Tõnisson, also with a statue of his likeness in Tartu; statesman Jaan Poska, (keyword Tartu rahu/leping, the Tartu Peace Treaty) forever stepping as a statue in Kadrioru Park, Tallinn; and the man on the photo, who, of course, has a statue of his likeness in Tartu and... He's not Estonian and lived a few centuries before the other bearded leading men.


It's Swedish kuningas (king) Gustav II Adolf, described on this Tallinn street ad as "akadeemia ja tudengite maale/- tooja" – importer of academics and students, to Estonia. In 1632, he founded Academia Dorpatensis, known today as the University of Tartu and is one of tens of figures (and a few objects) currently featured in a huge campaign in Estonia kicking off Euroopa Kultuuri/- pärandi/aasta – the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Hurt and Tõnisson are lso featured, as are numerous female national cultural icons, although visually not as distinguishably hipster. I haven't happened to see Jakobson lit up streetside. Yet.

So 2018 is not only the year of Estonia's centenary (, @EestiVabariik100 and @Estonia 100), but on a larger scale also the European Year of Cultural Heritage.


The Europe-wide website is and Estonia's local is Attention @kultuuriparandiaasta and #EuropeForCulture. Tulevikul on ajalugu – the future has a history.


Riina Kindlam,



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