Rakvere is one of the oldest towns in Estonia. On the 12th of June 1302, Danish king Erik Menved VI granted Rakvere the Lübeck law. Now, every year we celebrate that date with big concerts, markets, plays, dances, songs etc. The Rakvere City Days usually last for a weekend and is organized by the Rakvere Culture Center.
For centuries, the stone castle stood on Vallimägi, established in the place of Tarvanpea wooden stronghold. The castle has been owned by Danes, Germans, Russians, Swedes, Polacks and the walls of the castle have witnessed numerous battles.
The ruined castle was abandoned in 1605 and remained in ruins untill it was opened as a museum in 1988. Today, the castle has been fully renovated and opened as a medieval themepark for visitors. (Virtual tour: http://www.svm.ee/virtuaaltuurid/rakvere/)
Rakvere suffered great losses in numerous wars but thanks to the persistence of citizens of Rakvere, the town always revived and in 1783 it became county center.
Rakvere did not become a large industry town instead it became an important educational and cultural centre. The first school was established already in 1597, the first secondary school in 1912. The alumni of Rakvere schools consist of many well-known scientists, writers, artists, musicians etc. For example Arvo Pärt, who is a world known composer and honorary citizen of Rakvere. The first museum of Rakvere dates back to 1927 when the Rakvere Museum Society was founded.
Rakvere Theatre was inaugurated in 1940 with their first act "In the Swirling Winds" ("Tuulte pöörises") by August Kitzberg.
Rakvere has many green areas like parks, boulevards, springs, ponds and forests in different sizes. The biggest pride is Oak Grove which is under national protection.
The area of Rakvere is 10,73 km2 and the population is approximately 15 000.