Founded in 1279 about 50 mi/75 km southwest of Tallinn, the quiet town of Haapsalu became a seaside resort for the Russian aristocracy in the early 19th century.

Almost nothing remains of the oldest part of the city, but for travelers visiting the west coast and the islands, Haapsalu is worth a stop to see its 13th-century Episcopal castle and domed church.

Many colorful and quaint wooden houses of the 19th century add to the nostalgic charm of the old town. The railway station, built in 1907 for a visit of the czar, is no longer in service; however, an interesting railway museum has been set-up for visitors to wander through.

The town also has some good spas and a nice beach. http://www.haapsalu.ee.

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