Source: Martin Dremljuga, Visit Estonia
This former submarine factory is now a vibrant community of apartments, high-level restaurants, shops and cultural venues. The presence of the sea is always felt in Noblessner as it’s situated on a beautiful, cosy harbour.
The history of the Noblessner seafront quarter dates back to 1912, when two St. Petersburg businessmen built the most important submarine factory in then Tsarist Russia. These were Arthur Lessner, a machine manufacturer, and Emanuel Nobel, Europe's largest fuel tycoon. The name of the factory – Noblessner – was created by combining their two surnames.
A total of 12 modern submarines were built in the factory between 1913 and 1917 to supply the Russian Tsar's navy. Although the construction of submarines ceased after Estonia's independence in 1918, shipbuilding and repair took place here until 2018. As a result, the area was closed to the public for a century.
Nowadays, Noblessner has undergone rapid development: it is home to a yacht harbour, offices, restaurants and even the factory and taproom of Estonia’s most popular brewery – Põhjala. The Noblessner development project won the Best Urban Regeneration category at the Baltic Real Estate Awards 2020 for its mix of historical buildings and fresh, modern architecture.
Here you will also find Kai Art Center, PROTO Invention Factory VR centre, and techno nightclub HALL. Culinary highlights include restaurant 180°, founded by Michelin starred chef Matthias Diether, and Lore Bistroo, a local favourite, but there are also plenty more sweet spots to explore.
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