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Tartu's Ahhaa Science Center Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Lending support to the question of whether Tartu tourist attractions can be international big-ticket sites, the Ahhaa center in Estonia's second city was visited by some 65,000 people in the first three months of this summer - the highest visitor total yet. Over one-half were foreigners.

Ahhaa board member Pilvi Kolk said they were proud of the number, as they had planned on an annual total of 100,000. Last year's figure was over 200,000 and this year will perhaps be even better.

Half of the foreign visitors are Latvian, and 20 percent are from the Russian Federation.

Ahhaa is fully quadrilingual - not just the texts but also programs are in Russian, English, Latvian and Estonian. It's uncommon for a tourist facility to have a full Latvian-language program.

With Tartu boasting many cultural attractions its own attractions, it is also the home of the National Museum, which will in several years move into a costly new home that the government is determined to build.

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