Pärnu (German: Pernau, Polish: Parnawa) is a city in southwestern Estonia on the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea. It is a popular summer vacation resort with many hotels, restaurants, and large beaches. The Pärnu River flows through the city and drains into the Gulf of Riga. The city is served by Pärnu Airport. The city is occasionally referred to as Pyarnu, an incorrect reverse-transliteration from Russian . Perona, (German: Alt-Pernau, Estonian: Vana-Pärnu) was founded by the bishop of Ösel-Wiek ca. 1251, suffered heavily under pressure of the concurrent town, and was finally destroyed ca. 1600. Another town, Embeke (later German: Neu-Pernau, Estonian: Uus-Pärnu) was founded by the Livonian Order, who began building an Ordensburg nearby in 1265. The latter town, then known by the German name of Pernau, was a member of the Hanseatic League and an important ice-free harbor for Livonia. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took control of town between 15601617; the Poles and Lithuanians fought the Swedes nearby in 1609. Sweden took control of the town during the 16th century Livonian War, but it was subsequently taken by the Russian Empire in the 1710 Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia and the 1721 Treaty of Nystad, following the Great Northern War. It belonged to Imperial Russian Governorate of Livonia then. The town became part of independent Estonia in 1918 following World War I.