On 8 February 1921, Spain recognised the Republic of Estonia de jure, marking the beginning of official diplomatic relations.
For the anniversary year, we have compiled a timeline of Estonian–Spain relations. It is a chronological gallery of historical photographs, documents, and texts, which provides an overview of the unique and important moments of the relations between the two countries over 100 years.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the collection of facts, photos, and documents!
To see the photo titles, move your cursor to the photo. Happy time travelling!
Estonian embassy in Spain
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Group photo of the appointment of Alonso Avila y Bernabeu, Spanish envoy. From the left: Elmar Kirotar, Head of the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spanish envoy, State Elder Jaan Tõnisson, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hans Rebane. National Archives
Spanish envoy M. A. Avilay Bernabeu passing the honour society in front of the Toompea castle. Photo: National Archives
Read more about Karl Robert Pusta:
The Spanish Civil War lasted until April 1939 and several Estonians took part in it, despite the state ban.
Read how the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and legations were dismissed, but the continuity of the Estonian state was maintained by Estonian diplomats in the free world.
On 23 August 1989, on the 50th anniversary of the MRP, a long human chain was formed across the three Baltic States, where people joined hands to draw attention to the situation in the Baltic States.
Excerpt from the blog Hargnemised (10 June 2014) by Maarja Paesalu:
Translations lay the foundation for the awareness and understanding of the cultural ‘other’ and help to make cultural texts present. Estonian literary works published in Spanish create a dialogue between Estonian and Spanish culture, in which the differences between the two cultures are compared and common features are found. In total, 22 Estonian literary works have been published in Spanish. Prose has been translated 13 times, poetry nine times. Of the prose translations, six are more voluminous works of fiction for adults, the remaining seven are works of children’s literature, five of which are fairy tales. A total of 16 different Estonian literary works translated into Spanish have been published in Spain over the years. Various Estonian literary works translated into Spanish have been published outside Spain (in Estonia, Russia, and Cuba) six times.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to Jüri Talvet – an Estonian poet, literary scholar, translator, and local Hispanism developer for Estonian literature being translated into Spanish. Albert Lázaro-Tinaut, a publisher, translator, essayist, lecturer, and a lover of Eastern European cultures (especially Finno-Ugric and Baltic cultures), has done a great job in promoting the translation of our literature.
Read more about translating Estonian literature into Spanish:
Read more in Spanish
In the same year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilves visited Spain again, this time on a working visit on 19–20 November. Ilves gave a presentation in Spanish at the Diplomatic School of Spain entitled ‘The European Union and security policy in Europe in the 21st Century’.
See also other important follow-up visits.
Read more about him
Photo from 2012, when David Rovira, the son of Barcelona’s honorary consul, became honorary vice-consul. Josep Lluís Rovira, David Rovira, Toomas Kahur, William Mart Laanemäe. Photo: Estonian legation in Madrid
Read more about other Estonian honorary consuls in Spain
Honorary consul of Bilbao Isidoro Alejandro Beltrán de Heredia Dreyfus and ambassador Toomas Kahur at the opening of the honorary consulate on 21 May 2014.
Sergio Pedro Tadeo Benitez is the honorary consul of Estonia in Gran Canaria. The honorary consulate was opened on 25 February 2011.
The opening of the honorary consulate of Valencia took place on 9 February 2011. The honorary consul of Valencia is Jose Vicente Morata Estragues (first in the photo on the right).
For many years, Estonia also had an honorary consulate in Ferroli.
Read more about the Spanish Embassy here.
– In May 2006, Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos visited Estonia
– In May 2006, the Speaker of the Upper House of the Spanish Parliament Javier Rojo also visited Estonia
– In September 2006, the Spanish Minister of Defence José Antonio Alonso Suárez visited Estonia
– On 8–10 July 2007, the President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves paid a state visit to Spain
– In December 2009, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip visited Spain
See also other high-level visits.
The king and queen met with the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who said, ‘This is a meaningful visit, as the Spanish royal couple is visiting Estonia for the first time,’ emphasised President Ilves, who paid a state visit to Spain in July 2007.
‘I am especially proud to host King Juan Carlos, who has made an immeasurable contribution to the development of democracy in his homeland,’ said the President. ‘We are both countries that have successfully emerged from an authoritarian and totalitarian regime and have joined the European Union as a community based on common values.’
The King of Spain also met with the Speaker of the Riigikogu and representatives of the Spanish community in Estonia, and the Estonian presidential couple hosted an official dinner in honour of the King and Queen. He visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and met with the Prime Minister, Queen Sofia visited St. Nicholas Church and the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, and the royal couple also got acquainted with Tallinn’s Old Town.
The royal couple in Kadriorg. Photo: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The royal couple at the reception. Photo: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In May 2012, the première of Purge took place and it was performed in full halls in San Sebastian, Madrid, and other theatre festivals. Those interested can also read about Estonian history in Sofi Oksanen’s book When Pigeons Disappeared translated into Spanish.
Read more about the field of culture here.
The Spanish legation in Tallinn is located at Liivalaia 13. Read more about the Spanish legation here.
Read more about the Estonian legation in Madrid here.