is a town in Lääne-Viru County
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...
. Located at the junction of the country's Tallinn-Narva (west-east) and Tallinn-Tartu-Valga (north-south) railway lines, it is an important centre of transit for freight (mainly Russian oil and timber) as well as rail passengers (mostly Estonian commuters). A home to soldiers since the 1930s, Tapa also plays an important role in training young men and women in the Estonian Defense Forces.
Tapa was formed in 1917. It was officially recognized as a city in 1926. In October 2005, Tapa merged with the municipalities of Lehtse, Saksi, and Jäneda to form Tapa Parish
Tapa Parish is a rural municipality in Lääne-Viru County in northern Estonia. On January 1, 2008, the parish had 8,894 residents, down from 9,067 one year earlier.The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Tapa...
Tapa Museum was opened on June 10, 2004. Harri Allandi is its founder and first curator. The museum, in a 1934, two-storey house, collects and exhibits objects, including photos and documents, related to the history and culture of Tapa. All of the objects in the museum reflect the soul of Tapa's citizens, past and present. Temporary exhibits celebrate notable days in Tapa's history and feature hobbies of the town's residents. The permanent collection presents Tapa as a railway
, and sausage
Tapa owes its existence to the railroad. (The three long, white rectangles on Tapa's flag represent the three branches of the railroad that meet there.) In the 1860s, there were only native meadows where Tapa sits today. Forests of fir trees were chopped down as railroad tracks were laid eastward from Paldiski
Paldiski is a town and Baltic Sea port situated on the Pakri peninsula of north-western Estonia. Originally a Swedish settlement known as Rågervik, it became a Russian naval base in the 18th century. The Russians renamed it Балтийский Порт Paldiski is a town and Baltic Sea port situated on the...
(in northwestern Estonia) to St. Petersburg, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...
. The Baltic Railway Company opened the tracks on October 24, 1870. Construction of the Tapa (Taps)-Tartu (Dorpat) branch of the railroad began in 1875, and the first train to Dorpat passed through Taps on August 21, 1876. From that day on, Tapa (then Taps) grew quickly as a railroad town. Land was purchased from the Taps estate to build a railroad station and a depot for repairing and maintaining locomotives. The repair shop opened in 1876.http://www.evr.ee/?id=25382
The station was given the German name Taps
from the estate, and the town got its name from the station.
Tapa has been known as both a railroad and a military town throughout its history. On August 1, 1923, an armoured train regiment (Estonian: soomusrongirügement
) was formed in Tapa with two armoured wagons: the Kapten Irv
, which served in the Estonian War of Independence, and the Onu Tom
. On November 30, 1934, a regiment in Valga (in southern Estonia) was moved to Tapa. The regiment's base, located on the southern edge of town around Tapa estate's main building, played a considerable role in the town's life and contributed to the town's continued development.
In January 1941, however, the regiment was dissolved by Russian occupying forces. Seven months later, on August 14, 1941, German troops took Tapa. During the German occupation, German military things were housed where the Estonian armoured train regiment's headquarters had been. In 1972, the engineering-technical education military unit no. 67665 of the Soviet army was on the site.
There has been an airfield on the southern edge of Tapa since 1932. The Tapa Aerial Union (Estonian: Tapa Õhuasjanduse Ühing
) held its first fly in on September 30, 1934. The Russians began building a military airfield on the site in the fall of 1939. The Soviets began extensive construction of a military airfield in the spring of 1952. MiG-17s were at the base by the end of the year. Later, Tapa Airfield
Tapa is an air base in Estonia located 3 km southwest of Tapa. During the Cold War it was home to 656 IAP which flew MiG-23 aircraft. In 1987, interceptor aircraft were dispatched from Tapa to intercept Mathias Rust's Cessna 172 in a famous Cold War incident ....
was home to the Soviet 656th Interceptor Aviation Regiment. In 1993, the Estonian Defence Ministry assumed control of the airfield. On June 18, 1993 the first civilian plane touched down on the cement runway.
As the Soviet troops and their families left Tapa, the town's population dropped from 10,395 in 1989 to 6,800 in 2000.http://www.tapa.ee/index.php?main=350
Tapa was left with a vacant, ransacked, poorly-constructed military district. Yet, its life as a military town did not end. In January 2002, following changes in the structure of Estonian defence units, Tapa again became the home of a military base. The Northeast Defence District (Estonian: Kirde Kaitseringkond
) in Tapa includes an army training center, an artillery battalion, an anti-aircraft battalion, a ground battalion http://www.mil.ee/?menu=maavagi&sisu=tapa
Today, on the north wall of Tapa's train station, there is a bronze plaque, originally dedicated on January 9, 1934 and re-dedicated on February 20, 1993, that commemorates the Estonian War of Independence. On the plaque is the symbol of Tapa's armoured train regiment. Called "Flying Death on the Railway", the symbol is a skeleton's skull with a pair of angel wings and wagon train wheels behind it.
Throughout Tapa's history, in between the depot and the military base, civic and religious institutions have flourished. At services on December 2, 2007, the first Sunday of Advent
Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...
, St. Jacob's Church (Estonian: Jakobi kogudus
, literally St. Jacob's congregation), the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK), celebrated its 75th anniversary. Pastor Reet Eru officiated, and Archbishop Emeritus Kuno Pajula gave the sermon.
A temporary house of prayer was dedicated in Tapa on June 19, 1921 by the first bishop of the EELK Jaak Kukk.http://www.eelk.ee/tapa/
It was named after the apostle John. St. Jacob's was dedicated on November 27, 1932, the first Sunday of Advent. Either August Tauk or Anatoli Podchekayev is the architect of the neo-historical stone church. The altarpiece, called the "Joyous Christ" or "Come to me", was painted by Russian icon artist Olga Obolyaninova. The church was renovated from 1953–55 and from 1972-74.
On June 10, 2007, the Baptist church in Tapa celebrated its 75th anniversary. The church was established on June 12, 1932, and Philip Gildemann was its first pastor. In 1940, with Gottfried Palias as pastor (1933–45), services moved to Tapa's Methodist church building. In 1980, with Dimitri Lipping as pastor (1976–92), it acquired the building at 1 School Street (Estonian: Kooli tn. 1
) in Tapa for Sunday school and other youth programs. In November 2003, it changed its name to the Tapa Living Faith Church (Estonian: Tapa Elava Usu Kogudus
). It holds Sunday services, with simultaneous translation into Russian, in Tapa's Methodist church at 11 Central Street (Estonian: Kesk tn. 11
At 75, Tapa's Baptist church had 40 members: 58 percent were between the ages of 21 and 74 and 68 percent were female. There were 50 participants in its Sunday school and more than 100 youth in its summer camp. Its other pastors were Evald Aer (1945–56), Paldor Teekel (1956–60), Eduard Kaur (1961), Erich Sõmer (1962–67), Heino Kivisild and Arli Tammo (1968–1975), and Toomas Kivisild (from 1993). The church belongs to the Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Evangeeliumi Kristlaste ja Baptistide Koguduste Liitu
On March 17, 2007, Tapa Music School (Estonian: Tapa Muusikakool
) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a concert by its students and its graduates. Like many Estonian towns, Tapa has a music school that is second only to the local elementary and high school in educating children and preparing them for successful lives as teenagers and young adults. The music school opened in the fall of 1957. Peeter Kald was the school's director from 1979 until 2007, when his son Ilmar was named director.
On May 30, 1908, learned individuals from Tallinn and Tartu met in Tapa to agree on how the Estonian language should be written. By the beginning of the 19th century, two forms of Estonian had evolved: a Tallinn Estonian in the north and a Tartu Estonian in the south. So the Estonian Literary Society (Estonian: Eesti Kirjanduse Selts
) in Tartu and the Literature Department of the Folk Education Society of Estonia (Eestimaa Rahvahariduse Selts, Kirjanduse Osakond
) in Tallinn convened a conference (Eesti kirjakeele konverents
, or a conference on Estonian as it is written). The first of four conferences that were held from 1908 to 1911 was in Tapa, because it was easily accessible by train from both Tallinn and Tartu. The meeting took place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Harmonie
room of what is today Tapa's music school.
What was so different about what Estonians in the north were writing and what their fellow countrymen just 240 km to the south were writing? The spelling of some words was different because the pronunciation of the words was different. For example, the word pea
(head) in the south was pää
in the north, hea
(good) was hää
, and seal
(there) was sääl
. Similarly, õõ
(two vowels together; both are pronounced) at one end of the country was written õe
at the other end, õuu
, and the -gi
ending was written -ki
. Also, in both the north and the south the h
sound at the beginning of a word, like hõbune
(horse) and hoidma
(to hold), was clearly written but softly spoken. So the conference participants wanted to decide if the h
should it be written if it is not pronounced?
On May 30, 2008, the 100th anniversary of this conference, Tapa organized another conference on the Estonian language with esteemed representatives from the Mother Tongue Society (Emakeele Selts
), the Estonian Language Institute (Eesti Keele Instituut
), the Language Inspectorate of the Estonian Ministry of Education (Keeleinspektsioon
), the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (Haridus ja Teadusministeerium
), Tartu University's Estonian and General Linguistics Institute (Tartu Ülikooli eesti ja üldkeeleteaduse instituut
), and the Estonian Writers Union (Eesti Kirjanike Liit
). The theme of the conference was "Language Grows from Me" (Keel kasvab minust enesest
). The master of ceremonies was Marika Rajur of the Tapa Literary Club.
Before the conference began, a plaque to commemorate the very first conference was unveiled in front of the music school by Kuno Rooba, Tapa's mayor. The plaque reads "The first conference on written Estonian took place in Tapa" (Tapal toimus esimene eesti kirjakeele konverents
- The railway station in Tapa served as the Tallinn railway station in the 2008 Estonian movie Detsembrikuumus
December Heat is a 2008 historic action drama film about the 1924 Estonian coup d'état attempt directed by Asko Kase and starring Sergo Vares.-Plot:...
- The phrase "the burning water of Tapa" (Estonian: Tapa põlev vesi) refers to the fact that so much fuel from Soviet MiG-23 fighters leaked into Tapa's ground water that one could actually light a glass of tap water on fire.
- In Estonian, "tapa" is also the imperative form of the verb "kill". This has led to an urban legend stating that during Soviet times the town had a newspaper called "Tapa Kommunist", which could mean either "Communist of Tapa", or "kill the Communist". Later the name was changed to "Tapa Edasi", which could mean either "Tapa Forward", or "Keep killing".
- Similarly, where a backroad from Kadrina
Kadrina is a small borough in Lääne-Viru County, northern Estonia. It is the administrative centre of Kadrina Parish. Kadrina has a population of 2,471 ....
comes to a T at route 24, a sign gives drivers directions to "Tapa" (to the left) or to "Loobu" (to the right). In Estonian, loobuma means to abandon, to desist, to waive. Therefore, drivers have the options to "Kill" or "Give up".
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