As you know there are three Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. They share many things in common e.g. similar size, population, and history. It makes them be three best friends but also biggest rivals. Many people still know nothing about us, so we decided to share some interesting facts about the Baltic countries.
- Geographical centre of Europe
Several countries (like Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland) claim to be at the heart of Europe. According to the research of the French National Geographic Institute, the one and only geographical central point of the continent is in Lithuania. It is located 26 km north of the centre of Vilnius near the village Purnuškės.
2. The highest “mountain”
All the three Baltic states are quite flat, so we often call our hills mountains. Estonia is lucky to have the highest “mountain” in the Baltics (Suur Munamägi, 318 meters)
3. Islands in the Baltic Sea
Estonia is the only country of the Baltic states to have islands (Saaremaa and Hiiumaa being the largest ones).
4. Most popular sport
The most popular sport in Latvia is ice-hockey, Estonians are mainly into Winter sports while Lithuanians love Basketball!
Lithuanian and Latvian are Baltic languages. Lithuanians and Latvians can usually understand at least a few words of the other language. For us, Lithuanians, Latvian sounds like wrong funny Lithuanian (and vice versa). These two Indo-European languages are often said to be among the oldest ones in the World. Estonian is different. It’s not an Indo-European language. It’s similar to Finnish, but it’s completely different from Latvian and Lithuanian.
6. Overseas Colonies
Few people know that Latvia had an overseas colony. The Duchy of Courland (current Latvia) was a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1654 Jacob, the Duke of Courland, sent his soldiers to occupy Tobago. Tobago was a property of Courland and the island was named New Courland.
7. Independence days
All the three Baltic states have two independence days. The first independence was declared after the WWI. After approximately 50 years in the Soviet Union, we declared independence once again. Lithuania was the first country from the Soviet Union to declare its independence on March 11, 1990.