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Vaida Vaitilavičiūtė

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Baltic States


Pärnu was founded 1251.Before 1918, the city was primarily known in English by its German name, Pernau. Local administration consists of town council and town government. Election of town council takes place every three years. The current town council was elected in October 2005. The number of councilmen depends on the population. The current number of councilmen is 33.

Pärnu is a health resort of international stature. In addition to guests arriving from around fifty countries, it is also proved by its membership in the European Spas Association (since 2000) and the European Blue Flag that has been flying at the beach of Pärnu since 2001. Most tourists in Pärnu are Finnish or Estonian. Hotel and restaurant staff speak English and some Finnish in addition to Estonian.

In 1837, a few business-minded entrepreneurs decided to rebuild a lone tavern near the beach into a bathing establishment, thus preparing the ground for the development of the resort of Pärnu. This wooden building was the predecessor of the present-day mud baths. The establishment, which was opened in 1838, accommodated 5-6 bathrooms that provided hot seawater baths in summer and operated as a sauna in winter. The wooden building was burnt down in the course of World War I. In 1927, the present stone building of Pärnu Mud Baths was erected at the same site. Later, the wings were attached to the building to accommodate a bath unit and a pool.

Today, disorders of the joints, spinal column and peripheral nervous system, gynaecological problems and dysfunction of the central nervous system are treated at Pärnu Mud Baths. The therapies include hydrotherapy, mud and ozocerite therapies, massage, laser and electrotherapies, lymph and inhalation therapies, aromatherapy and ECG. There are 130 rooms in the hotel of the Mud Baths. Since 1996 Pärnu has been known as Estonia’s Summer Capital.