Keila is a town and an urban municipality
Municipalities of Estonia
A Municipality is the smallest administrative subdivision of Estonia. Each municipality is a unit of self-government with its representative and executive bodies. The municipalities in Estonia cover the entire territory of the country....

 in Harju County
Harju County
Harju County , or Harjumaa , nowadays one of 15 counties of Estonia. It is situated in northern Estonia, on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland, and borders Lääne-Viru County to the east, Järva County to the south-east, Rapla County to the south, and Lääne County to the south-west.528,468 people...

 in north-western Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

. It is also the administrative centre of the surrounding rural municipality – Keila Parish.


The oldest traces of human settlement in Keila trace back 2000 to 3000 years BC. Around 1000 years ago the village of Keila was established along the Keila river. In 1219 the Danish conquered Northern-Estonia and chose Keila as the site on which the Vomentakŋ parochial Revala county church was to be built. The first church was a small wooden structure dedicated primarily to St. Michael which was replaced with a stone church at the end of the 13th century. Subsequently, the first written mention of Keila (Keikŋl) comes from Danish evaluation book writings in 1241.

In the 15th-16th century a settlement comprising some tens of buildings and a hundred people formed around the church. At the same time the Livonian Order
Livonian Order
The Livonian Order was an autonomous Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order and a member of the Livonian Confederation from 1435–1561. After being defeated by Samogitians in the 1236 Battle of Schaulen , the remnants of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword were incorporated into the Teutonic Knights...

 built a small fort south-east of the church on jõesaare (Known today as Jõepark). Ruins of the fort were first excavated in 1976 with continued finds up to 2007.

During the Livonian War
Livonian War
The Livonian War was fought for control of Old Livonia in the territory of present-day Estonia and Latvia when the Tsardom of Russia faced a varying coalition of Denmark–Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland.During the period 1558–1578,...

 of 1558-1583 the settlement, including the church (Later restored in 1596), was destroyed. Further hampered by the plague and starvation in 1601-1602 the population declination reduced the community to a small church village. This was to be the case for 3 centuries. An upturn began on the second half of the 20th century. One of the first notable cultural events was the erection of a statue of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 in 1862 near the kirikumõis (Church manor). However the statue was completely destroyed in 1949. In 1885 the first song festival was held in Keila. The festival was composed of 19 choirs and supervised by Konstantin Türnpu from Klooga
Klooga is a small borough in Keila Parish in Harju County in northern Estonia. It has a population of 1,029 .During th German occupation in World War II a Nazi labor camp was situated in Klooga....

. In 1867 the first school was opened in Väljaotsa
Väljaotsa is a village in Jõgeva Parish, Jõgeva County in eastern Estonia....

farm celebrating the start of education in Keila.

The development of Keila took a turn with the establishment of the Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

Paldiski is a town and Baltic Sea port situated on the Pakri peninsula of north-western Estonia. Originally a Swedish settlement known as Rågervik, it became a Russian naval base in the 18th century. The Russians renamed it Балтийский Порт Paldiski is a town and Baltic Sea port situated on the...

 railway in 1870.
Keila officially became a town on the 1st of May 1938.

After the railway to Keila was built, the place became known — as a pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

 — as Kegelbahn.
Keila has a station on the Elektriraudtee rail line.

Military base

During Soviet times a military base, known as the "Tankipolk", was built on the outskirts of the town for the housing of soldiers and tanks . The base was demolished a few years after the Soviet army left the country. Years later a residential district was built on the site of the base. The woodland areas around it have also been cleaned up and turned into paved, and partially lit, paths. During winter the area acts as a skiing track with many hills and paths. The paths range from 3 to 7 kilometers in length. The largest of the hills is known as "Tankimägi" or "Tank Hill".

As of 2009 no more than a few building foundations remain of the base.


There are several schools in Keila.

And formerly.

Keila SOS Hermann Gmeiner
Hermann Gmeiner
Hermann Gmeiner was an Austrian philanthropist and the founder of SOS Children's Villages.- Life :...



According to the 2009 Census, the population was 9,873.

According to the 2000 Census, the population was 9,388. 82.8% were Estonians
Estonians are a Finnic people closely related to the Finns and inhabiting, primarily, the country of Estonia. They speak a Finnic language known as Estonian...

, 12.1% Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, 1.8%
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, 0.9% Finns, 0.7% Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

, 0.2% Lithuanians
Lithuanians are the Baltic ethnic group native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,765,600 people. Another million or more make up the Lithuanian diaspora, largely found in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Russia, United Kingdom and Ireland. Their native language...

, 0.1% Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, 0.1% Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

, 0.1% Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 and 0.1% Latvians
Latvians or Letts are the indigenous Baltic people of Latvia.-History:Latvians occasionally refer to themselves by the ancient name of Latvji, which may have originated from the word Latve which is a name of the river that presumably flowed through what is now eastern Latvia...

According to the 2011,July,1st Census, the population was 10030.

Twin towns — Sister cities

Keila is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

Chiatura is a city in the Imereti region of Western Georgia. In 1989, it had a population of about 30,000. It is inland, in a mountain valley on the banks of the Kvirila River, and since 1879 has been a major centre of manganese production in the Caucasus. There is a rail link to transport...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

Nacka is the municipal seat of Nacka Municipality and part of Stockholm urban area in Sweden. The municipality's name harks back to an 16th century industrial operation established by the Crown at Nacka farmstead where conditions for water mills are good...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

Huittinen is a town and municipality of Finland.It is located in the Satakunta region. The town has a population of and covers an area of of which is water...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Barsbüttel is a municipality in the district of Stormarn, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated right east of Hamburg.Since 1973 the township consists of four parts: Barsbüttel , Willinghusen, Stemwarde and Stellau.-Twin towns:...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Other twinnings: Keila, Estonia chiatura Georgia-References:* , , , , , and -External links:*...

, Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

Birštonas is a spa town in Lithuania situated south of Kaunas on the right bank of the Nemunas River. Birštonas received its city rights 1529, and was appointed a city in 1966.-Name:Birštonas is the Lithuanian name of the city...

, Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

Nieuwegein is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is bordered on the north by the city of Utrecht, the provincial capital...

, Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

Notable residents

  • Jekaterina Golovatenko
    Jekaterina Golovatenko
    Jekaterina Golovatenko is a retired Estonian figure skater. She is a multiple medalist at the Estonian Figure Skating Championships. Her highest placement at an ISU championship was 21st at the 1998 European Figure Skating Championships.-External links:...

     (born 1979), figure skater
  • Ülo Jõgi
    Ülo Jõgi
    Ülo Jõgi was an Estonian war historian, patriot and active in the Estonian resistance against the Soviet occupation of Estonia....

     (1921–2007), war historian and national activist
  • Pearu Paulus (born 1967), singer and composer
  • Ago Silde
    Ago Silde
    Ago Silde is an Estonian politician. 2004–2007 he served as the governor of Ida-Viru County.-Biography:Silde graduated from the Kehtna Vocational Training School with honors in 1983 and continued his studies at the Estonian Agricultural Academy studying amelioration and hydro-techniques...

     (born 1963), politician
  • Siiri Sisask (born 1968), singer and politician
  • Kärt Tomingas (born 1967), singer and actress
  • Peeter Volkonski
    Peeter Volkonski
    Prince Peeter Volkonski is an Estonian actor, rock-musician, composer. He is a descendant of a princely Rurikid family, and an influential art figure in Estonia....

    (born 1954), actor, rock-musician and composer

Further reading

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