Estonia’s capital city is located along the Baltic Sea, and though it may be synonymous with its medieval Old Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Tallinn is hardly frozen in the 14th century. This thoroughly wired burgh, where citizens easily vote and pay parking tickets online, is a hotbed of technological and design innovation as well as the birthplace of the free Internet phone service, Skype. The old continues to inform the new. The Rotermann Quarter, a former factory district, is being transformed into an attractive mixed-use neighborhood with a contemporary art nouveau style while maintainingits 19th-century merchant motif. Kultuurikatel, an old power station with a dramatic 290-foot-high chimney along the 28-mile-long former industrial waterfront, will soon see new life as a cultural center. The waterfront, an off-limits military border zone during Soviet times, is the centerpiece of development in preparation for Tallinn’s becoming a European Cultural Capital for 2011.
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