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Lahemaa, Estonia

The Lahemaa National Park was created in 1971 to protect the characteristic North-Estonian landscapes and the national heritage of the area, and to preserve harmonious relations between man and nature. This was the first national park in the Soviet Union. Originally the area of the national park was about 440 km², but later the territory was expanded towards the south. Now its area extends over 725 km², 474 km² lies on land, 251 km² is the sea.

The Lahemaa National Park lies in the territory of two counties (Harjumaa and LÀÀne-Virumaa) and of four landscape regions (the North-Estonian Coastal Plain, the Harju Plateau, the Viru Plateau and Kõrvemaa). This territory was first called Lahemaa by Johannes Gabriel Granö in the early 20th century. The name originates from the most thoroughly studied part of the North-Estonian coast, where four large peninsulas (Juminda, PÀrispea, KÀsmu and Vergi) are separated from each other by four bays (Kolga, Hara, Eru and KÀsmu.)