I am huge walker. Whenever in new places I can walk for ages, discover new things, taking photos…This weekend I had a short getaway to Blog Awards in Estonia, which also gave me the oppertunity to look around in my hometown. I was staying at a hotel which is 5 km from city centre and although I was carrying a suitcase with me.
I decided to walk and took a bit longer way through the Old Town, even if it is in totally different direction, but this extra walk was great. Having lived in sleepy Lillehammer for a year now, it was so much fun to see people on streets even on a Sunday. The Old Town and Town Hall Square was full of tourists. PS. And when you are walking around in Tallinn, look everywhere, you can find cool contrasts with a lot of history.
I will give you seven reasons why to walk to Oru Hotel (I recommend to stay there, for me it is like a second home in Tallinn, but it really is a comfy little 3stars hotel with excellent location). And of course if you are not staying at the hotel, just take this small walk in Kadriorg and the surroundings.
1. Walk in the city is a sightseeing on it’s own. New modern arhitecture, cool restaurants, traffic jams, people rushing somewhere…After a little walk it gets more quiet and when you come near the sea, everything changes. No rushing people, just people enjoying their walks.
2. The walk on the beach. Do I need to say more? The possibility to walk barefoot in the sand basically in the city center, is beyond belief. The wind, the sea, the boats…
3. Cruise ships invite you to take a camera and try to capture their size on the photo. I didn’t manage, but I am not the best photographer either;)
4. Russalka. This striking sculpture of an angel facing out into the sea horizon is a memorial to the 177 men of the Russalka, a Russian military ship that tragically sunk while en route to Helsinki in 1893. Created by famed Estonian sculptor A.H. Adamson, the monument has become a Tallinn landmark and a traditional spot for Russian couples to lay flowers on their wedding day.
5. Kadriorg park. The subdistrict name derives from the Catherinethal, a Baroque palace of Catherine I of Russia.
The founders of the first cultural green area that rose at the foot of Lasnamäe klint in the second half of the 17th century were five important Tallinners who received a permit to construct their summer houses to that area. The grounds in the middle that belonged to one of them, burgomaster Heinrich Fonnele, were called Fonne dale (Ger. Fonnental). In 1714 the area was bought by Peter the Great, who began to use the building that was once the main building of Fonne dale (since 1806 – house museum of Peter I) as his residence. An alley of ancient trees lead to “the old palace”, and the cross-shaped garden, limited by channels from two sides, had 12 “precious foreign trees” – horse chestnuts. Evidently, Peter had an early plan, after he would have achieved peace, to start erecting here a new seaside park and palace ensemble similar to Peterhof. Being convinced of his victory in the Great Northern War, he hired architect Niccolo Michetti with his apprentice Gaetano Chiaveri from Rome into Russian service; at the same time, on July 22, 1718, a new suitable place was found for the palace and the surrounding park.
Part of the Kadriorg park is a Japanese garden which relies on the philosophy of the circle of life and also on the expressiveness of nature. Flow, contemplation and meditating on nature are activities that characterise a true Japanese garden. The Japanese garden in Kadriorg park was opened on 31 July 2011. Masao Sone, designer of the garden, comes from Kyoto and learned landscaping in Tokyo as well as from his father who is a gardener.The north-east pond of Kadriorg and its buried limestone slope, boulders, large trees, pond and waterfall were a brilliant source of inspiration. A garden is like any living organism – it develops and changes in time and you will always find a reason to come back here!
Kadriorg Palace is a Petrine Baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great in Tallinn. The palace currently houses the Kadriorg Art Museum, a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia, displaying foreign art from the 16th to 20th centuries.
There is a lot to see and visit in Kadriorg park, but I would like to mention theMiiamilla Children’s Museum that was opened in Kadriorg Park on 25 September 2009 as a branch of the Tallinn City Museum. Children’s park that operated in the 1930s and was called a children’s paradise captivates with its historical building and the complete architectural solution that is a perfect complement to the ensemble of buildings in the Kadriorg Park. The opening theme of the museum is ‘Friend’: the museum as a friend, nature as a friend, my friend. The museum is meant for children between the ages of 3 to 11.
6. KUMU. Kumu is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The museum opened on 17 February 2006. In 2008 Kumu received the European Museum of the Year Award. This is a noteworthy international recognition of Kumu’s aspiration to become a truly contemporary art museum, which is not just dedicated to collection, conservation and exposition, but is a multifunctional space for active mental activity, from educational programmes for small children to discussions about the nature and meaning of art in the modern world.
Kumu is one of my favorite places in Tallinn.
7. The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds – it has a special place in every Estonians’ heart.
The first stage on its current location between Narva Road and Pirita Road in Kadriorg, was built in 1928 for the 9th Estonian Song Festival. It was designed by Karl Burman and provided space for 15,000 performers.During the Occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union, there was a need for a larger stage. The new and current arched stage was built in 1959 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Estonian SSR in the upcoming year. It was designed by architect Alar Kotli. The 15th Estonian Song Festival in 1960 was celebrated on the new stage.The stage was meant to hold over 15,000 singers but the reverse also became possible, with the performance taking place in front of the stage and audience sitting on the stage. On the northern side of the song stage is the 42m high fire tower, which is used during the Estonian Song Festivals. It is open for the public all year long.In 1988, Estonians gathered at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, to sing patriotic hymns in what became known as the Singing Revolution that led to the overthrow of Soviet rule.Also in 1988, three years before the collapse of the Soviet Union and Estonia’s reestablishment of independence, an international rock concert called the Summer of Rock (also referred to as Glasnost Rock) took place on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds between August 26th and 28th. The concert attracted over 130,000 attendees. Rock Summer would continue each summer until 1997During the Singing Revolution days, up to 300,000 people attended the Night Song Festival. During the Song Festivals, when the grounds are well packed, the number of people in the audience may reach 100,000. I am a HUGE fan of Song Festivals, if you have the possibility to visit Estonia during Song Festival (every 4th year) I recommended it to the warmest!
Foto võtsin internetist
Was it a long journey? Too much history? As I mentioned the hotel where I stayed was 5 km away from city center, the whole walk for me was 5,51km and took 1,11h. I started my Endomondo app to make this walk count as training as well. 278kcal lost;) Sightseeing and fun + sports. Win-win!
Take time to explore the museums, the monuments, the history. Tallinn has a lot to offer.
Interested to see the Soviet legacy, the not so touristy part of Tallinn? Take any bus from Oru Hotel (the bus stop is just some meters from the hotel) to Lasnamäe. It is the most populous administrative district of Tallinn, . The districts’ population is about 119,000, the majority of which is Russian-speaking. Local housing is mostly represented by 5–16 stories high panel blocks of flats, built in the 1970–1990s. Lasnamäe is usually referred to as a bedroom community.
Photo from Wikipedia
PS. If you are in Tallinn and looking for a guide, I recommend to take contact with God Tur (https://www.facebook.com/godturest/?fref=ts). Not because Krista is a friend of mine, but she really is a good and cool guide. I have seen her working – it’s two in one. Cool company and educational! (and she speaks fluent Norwegian;)