Pärnu is a West-Estonian resort city with well-established traditions that has held the title of Estonia's summer for years. Pärnu is also a former Hanseatic town.
During the sunny summer period, the beautiful, sandy beaches become the heart of Pärnu. Beautiful nature can also be found throughout Pärnu County, which boasts a 242 km coastline. Many cultural and sports events, some of which have become local traditions, offer entertainment all year round.
The nature of Pärnu County, which offering quality opportunities for active holidays, supplements the greenery of city parks and boulevards. Walks in the forest, kayak trips on rivers and the sea, riding, fishing, hunting trips, adventurous bog or canoe trips to Soomaa National Park and elsewhere in the county offer great escapes. In winter, you can partake in skiing, snowshoe and kick sledge trips, or a sledge safari and enjoy a sauna steam.
Other names: Pernau (German), Parnawa (Polish), Pērnava (Latvian)
Founded: ca. 1251
Location: Southwestern Estonia, on the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea
Area: 32,22 square km
Population (2013): 39 728
Ethnicity: 83% Estonians, 12% Russians, 5% other
Known as: the summer capital of Estonia
Titles: Summer Capital of Estonia (since 1996), Child- and Youth-Friendly City (UNICEF 2004)
View Pärnu on Google Maps.
Read about the history of Pärnu.
1699 to 1710 - a university founded by the Swedish king was operating in Pärnu, which is considered a phase in the history of the University of Tartu. Due to the Great Northern War the activities of the university were short-lived.
1990 - the Town Council of Pärnu deemed it necessary to open an institute or a faculty of the University of Tartu in Pärnu for research into health resort treatment, tourism and holiday management and to prepare qualified personnel.
1991 - Higher education became possible when the Pärnu Business School opened. From the moment that it opened, the objective of the school was to develop into a higher education institution. The establishment of the library was also undertaken.
1994 - the municipal school was federalized, the number of students exceeded 200 and the tourism and hotel management department was opened.
At the end of 1994 - the University of Tartu Days were held in Pärnu. At that time, discussions to open the College in Pärnu as part of the university were undertaken with municipal and county officials.
March 20, 1996 - the municipal government, Pärnu county government, University of Tartu, Ministry of Education and Pärnu Business School all signed a collaboration agreement.
May 17, 1996 - Pärnu College opened its doors upon the foundation of the Pärnu Business School. Pärnu College is active as an institution of the University of Tartu and operates under its own charter. The last graduating class of the Pärnu Business School finished in the spring of 1998.
As of 2013, Pärnu College is offering one Master's programme for international students (study language: English): Master's program in Wellness and Spa Service Design and Management