Together we traveled back in time to see the medieval city of Reval. Now it’s time to come back and see reminders of more recent history.
The history that shaped Europe and most of our today lives. Starting at the Raekoja plats where our last journey finished let’s walk south. Harju street will eventually lead us to Freedom square but before we get there, let’s stop near the city information center. Two reasons for that. If you are into history and interesting information about the city I would recommend you going to free walking tour that starts there. Second reason being the square and church that played part in Estonian history when the city was bombed at the end of 2.W.W. But since this is not history lesson I’ll let you learn that at the tour from locals.
Following the Harju street further you arrive at Vabaduse väljak (Freedom square) which is now the place of every national celebration. After falling into disgrace during Soviet era, it was then turned into parking lot after the eastern block fell appart. Later the people of Estonia got over it’s soviet history and turned it into memorial celebrating their independence.
You can learn more about it’s history from the guides or other locals that will tell you all the reasons why they still might dislike the monument. Funny thing being, the monument is cross in one of the most atheistic countries in the world. For me it was interesting to learn the glass for the monument was made at my home in Czech Republic. There are home traces everywhere, really.
Walking from Freedom square around Toompea through the parks and old water fortification below the walls of the castle you come to Balti jaam, which is Tallinn train station. Cross the tracks and follow the path to Telliskivi. It used to be factory now turned into creative space full of cafes, stores, creative spaces and a lot of events. The design is mix of old industrial architecture and modern art on the walls and in free space. Definitely worth a stroll. Some days you can come to shop at local food market as well.
Where Telliskivi meets Balti jaam you can visit bar and a cafe placed in old train carriages. In winter same as most of the city this area looks quite silent, but I can imagine it being much more lively when the weather get’s warmer. Going further westwards from Telliskivi brings you to the Kalamaja district which is something really interesting to see. Basicly within five minute walk you are teleported from capital city into village style town. Coming here I realized that Tallinn is essentially three cities in one. First being the old town and its nearest surroundings that represent the capital and its history. Then you have the soviet era looking districts that haven’t changed much so far. In those you feel like you went back to times of cold war quite a bit. And last but not least you can find these patches of village type buildings around the city.
With all those wooden country houses it’s about time to see something more “brutalistic”, right? When there were olympics in Moscow 1980, they needed to place somewhere the sailing competitions. They ended up building the facilities for that in Tallinn. Olympic marina in Pirita and the stadium in the city center. Linnahall how is it called is concrete structure that’s mostly closed and unmaintained today. You can at least climb onto it and try to figure out how was it used? Personally I can’t really see it. Anyway it’s interesting urbex place.
Coming back to the city center from Linnahall you pass by strangely looking monument. It’s called The broken line and it’s memorial to those that lost their lives during Estonia ferry disaster. The story is really quite sad and currently (spring 2017) has its part in coast guard exhibition in Seaplane harbour museum.
There are other interesting places to explore but how would that be fun you I spoiled you all the surprises? Hope you will find your city stroll interesting and if you feel like there is a place that others should know about, share it. Next time museums or nature places are coming. I’ll see what I will feel like writing first. Until then enjoy your travels and be happy.