Raplamaa, along with Järvamaa, lies in the heart of Estonia. Neither county is adjacent to the sea or other nations. Both directly and figuratively, Raplamaa (Rapla County) is a place of sources: a birthplace of rivers, of learning and of new ideas.
Raplamaa is criss-crossed by natural, linguistic and cultural borders. According to the theory of natural sciences, borderlands are the most diverse and fertile areas. This is the foundation for the riches of Raplamaa, which may not be readily apparent at first.
It takes a short time to pass through Raplamaa along the Tallinn-Pärnu or Tallinn-Viljandi highway. However, one only has to take a brief drive on one of the byroads to make new discoveries each step of the way.
Due to its proximity to Estonia¹s capital, Raplamaa is said to be the bedroom of Tallinn. A relatively peaceful lifestyle surrounded by beautiful nature appeals to many inhabitants of the capital, who are tired of the bustle of a big city and settle here. The same also happened centuries ago when manors were established throughout the county. Historians value the architectural uniqueness of local manors and use this as a basis to distinguish the golden circle of Raplamaa manors.
Through the ages, local areas and people have critically influenced Estonia¹s development, whether as a meeting place of ancient chiefs, a foundation for the most extensive uprising of the Middle Ages, or as a source of the Estonian epic. In the 1950s, Raplamaa was the birthplace of the largest organisation of Estonian patriotic partisans, which fought against the Soviet occupation.
Language and Influence
Raplamaa is criss-crossed by a major sub-dialect boundary, which has hypothetically divided the current county territory into two areas: the middle sub-dialect, from where the basis for today¹s written Estonian language was spoken, and the western sub-dialect.
Numerous local sacred stones, trees and springs have given rise to the belief that these, too, have influenced the mindset of the people who have been born or lived here. This place has definitely encouraged Helle Meri, who was born in Rapla and was the wife of Lennart Meri, the first president of Estonia after regaining its independence. It also inspired Vigala Sass, a medicine man and healer who lived in the town of Vigala for much of his life.
It has been said that Raplamaa`s greatest value is its people. The same people are probably the reason why there are so many successful businesses in the county. Raplamaa¹s business environment is versatile, with both efficient production units of international corporations and small companies with unique business ideas.
You are welcome to visit Raplamaa to see for yourself!