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The town of Jõhvi, the centre of Ida-Viru county, is situated at the most important transport hub of the northeasternmost county in Estonia. 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. 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. Today 70,000 people in total live within a couple of dozen kilometres of the city. 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. Welcome to Jõhvi - the heart of Ida-Viru county!