Due to its location at the border of the country, Ida-Virumaa, or Alutaguse, has been the site of many wars. The most important architectural monument in Jõhvi is a mighty Gothic fortress built in the 13th century. In the middle ages, it was surrounded by a rampart and a ditch. Now, a museum for Jõhvi's fortress church is located in the vaulted cellars.
As a typical merchant center, Jõhvi town grew around a market place, which was surrounded by a tavern, post office, shops, an inn, banks and, since 1895, a Russian Orthodox church. All the roads leading to the town met at the market place, right in front of the post office. Today, a symbolic direction sign which shows distances to places from Rome to Moscow, and to all of Jõhvi's friendship towns, marks this place.
In 1917, in the midst of a revolutionary period, Jõhvi was recognised as a borough, and in 1938 it was recognised as a town. At the same time, with the development of the oil shale industry, the town grew into a metropolitan centre.
During World War II, the historic centre of Jõhvi was badly damaged.
Due to its convenient location, Jõhvi became the county centre as early as 1949. Now, besides the county government offices, most of the central institutions for the region have moved to the town, and the regional offices of many large companies are also found here. Jõhvi has become the business and financial centre of Ida-Viru county. Rapid development has given the town a youthful life style . The heart of cultural life in today's Jõhvi is the concert hall and culture and hobby centre, which are to be opened in October 2005.
Today 70,000 people in total live within a couple of dozen kilometres of the city.
A railway and a highway connecting Tallinn to Saint Petersburg pass through the town, and it is also crossed by the Jõhvi - Tartu - Riga highway. In Ida-Virumaa, all roads lead to Jõhvi, as this is the only way to cross the county from one side to the other.
Jõhvi`s Concert Hall, Pargi 40, 41537 Jõhvi. Phone: 334 2000, 334 2001, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jõhvi is the home of Estonia's newest concert hall, offering the best opportunities. It opened on 8 October 2005. Its two concert halls, Grand hall seating 836 (can be changed to 926) and the other 170 people, have been furnished with state-of-the-art equipment. They are suitable for classical and rock concerts, theatre performances and exhibitions, receptions and balls, seminars and international conferences. The chamber hall has the newest cinema equipment. In addition, the house has four seminar rooms of different sizes for training, seminars and meetings. There is no limit to the usage options of the concert hall, except for the organiser's imagination. During the season, from autumn to spring, on average one or two concerts a week take place in the Jõhvi Concert Hall. During the summer season we also organise several concerts at other beautiful locations throughout Ida-Viru County. Thus, on 15-22 July, the traditional festival "Music of Seven Towns" will take place this year for the eighth time, with concerts both in the concert hall and all over Ida-Viru County.
St. Michael church-stronghold, built in 13th century gothic church. Museum is opened in cellar of the church.
Valaste Waterfall, (Located along the Ontika cliff - around 10km north from Jõhvi.), . The Valaste waterfall is most impressive in early spring; then, the winter snow is melting and volume of cascading water is greatest. During winter the waterfall freezes and forms fairy-tale like ice sculptures. In 1997, a platform for tourists was built opposite the waterfall. There is a car park, some explanatory signs and a trail using a double spiral staircase to get down the cliff.edit
Shopping-business centre "Tsentraal", 3 floor building on Central square (Keskväljaku 4). There are shops with food (Rimi), electronics, man, woman, child clothes (CHR/Evermen, Seppälä) mobile phones, computers sports goods (Ardis sport) etc.
N&B Keskus. Shopping centre/market in the centre of the town. First floor: food shop Maxima, food market (fresh vegetables, meat, milk and meat products). Second floor: botiques of clothes.
Jewe centre. Shopping centre with bus station, located in the centre of the city.