Hiiu County

From Academic Kids

Hiiu County, or Hiiu maakond, is a County or maakond of Estonia. Hiiumaa is the second largest island of Estonia and constitutes the main part of the county. It is located in the Baltic Sea to the east of Lääne County on the mainland, and to the north of Saare County.

Hiiu maakond
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Flag of Hiiu County

Coat of Arms of Hiiu County
(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Capital Kärdla
58°59'48" N, 22°44'20" E
Governor Hannes Maasel
Area 1,023 km² (15th)
 - 2004 estimate
 - 2000 census
 - Density
10,289 (15th)
10.1/km² (15th)
ISO 3166-2 EE-39
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Location of Hiiu County



Human inhabitation of Hiiumaa can be traced back to the 5th millennium BC. Mesolithic sites in Kõpu peninsula are presented by the seal-hunters' settlements. There are several well preserved grave fields of the Iron age. In 1228 the island was first mentioned in written annals under the name Dageida. In 1254 Hiiumaa was divided between the Livonian Order and the Saare-Lääne bishop. In 1563 Hiiumaa got annexed to Sweden. In 1710, as a result of Great Northern war island goes under the Russian Empire. German military forces occupy Hiiumaa in 1917. In 1918 - 1940 Hiiumaa was part of the Republic of Estonia, then until 1991 occupied by the Soviet Union.

On demands of the Hanseatic League a lighthouse was built in Kõpu in the beginning of XVI century (known also as Dagerort). It is considered the third oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the whole world, still showing its light to 35 miles to the sea.

The best part of the farm architecture comes from the XIX century. Examples are Mihkli farming complex and Soera farm-museum with all the old national artefacts.

County government

The County Government (Maakonnavalitsus) is led by a Governor (maavanem).


There are 1 urban municipality (est: linn - city) and 4 rural municipalities (est: vallad - parishes) in the county.

Urban municipality:

Rural municipalities:


The county includes the islands of Hiiumaa (980 km²) and Kassari (19 km²) and a number of surrounding islets. The highest point is Tornimägi hill (68 m), the longest river is Luguse (21 km), and the biggest lake is Tihu Suurjärv (850,000 m²).

In the landscapes there can be found pine forests, mixed spruce and deciduous forests, swampy thickets and juniper shrubs, coastal meadows and bogs. The most frequent tree is pine which makes about a half of forests. Pine is followed by birch, spruce and alder. In total, there are about 1,000 species of vascular plants, of which about 100 are under protection. The wildlife of Hiiumaa is remarkable. Out of 30 species of mammals, big game as elk, deer, fox, wild boar and lynx roam the island. There are about 250 species of birds on the island, 195 of them nesting.

Among the Estonian counties Hiiumaa is the richest in forest - nearly 60 % of the island are wooded areas. There are large marsh areas in the middle of the island. The marshes cover about 7 % of its area. Cultivated land and settlements take about 23 % of the area of the county.

See also

External links

  • Hiiumaa (http://www.hiiumaa.ee/) - Official site

Counties of Estonia
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Flag of Estonia

Harju | Hiiu | Ida-Viru | Järva | Jõgeva | Lääne | Lääne-Viru | Pärnu | Põlva | Rapla | Saare | Tartu | Valga | Viljandi | Võru

et:Hiiu maakond ro:Judeţul Hiiu


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