TOP 10 most bizarre Soviet buildings in Estonia

Source: Siiri Kumari

TOP 10 most bizarre Soviet buildings in Estonia

Some of Estonia’s most odd and striking structures are throwbacks to the country’s nearly five decades in the Soviet sphere of influence. Two main movements belong to this period: Stalinist Classicism, during the 1940’s and 1950’s, and later Soviet Modernism, from the 1950’s to 1980’s. These styles yielded some iconic landmarks like the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds stage and Tallinn TV Tower. Due to a unique mixture of medieval, European buildings and modern architecture, Tallinn was a popular filming location during the Soviet era. Sprawling suburbs like Lasnamäe, Mustamäe and Õismäe in Tallinn sprang up as a short-term solution to a growing population, but remain a large part of the real estate landscape today.

Okta Centrum

Rapla maakond, Rapla linn

This building, completed in 1977, is something of a monument to Soviet architecture. It resembles a UFO that has landed. Did you know…? *Everything in the building is octagonal – from the floor plan to the rubbish bins *The octagonal pond is a perfect reflection of the physical space in the building *The building was designed by Toomas Rein and Aulo Padar *During the Soviet era, people from all over the USSR came to admire the building

Read more

Kiltsi airfield

Lääne maakond, Kiltsi küla

Built by the former Soviet army, Kiltsi airfield covers an area of about 800 ha. Concrete runways are 2,500 m long and it had 28 hangars for airplanes. Construction of the airfield began in 1939 and it was used until 1956; in 1969, it was reconstructed. After the departure of the Soviet army, the airfield fell into disrepair, leaving behind old airplane hangars, barracks, and runways.  The territory of the Kiltsi airfield belongs to the Lääne district of the Defence League. NB! To enter the territory of the airfield, a you must have a permit. 17 Lahe Street, open Mon–Fri from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A speed limit of 50 km/h applies on the airfield.

Read more

Tallinn City Hall

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

Completed for the Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics, the unique City Hall belongs to the heritage conservation list. The look of this fascinating complex brings to mind the ancient pyramids of the Mayans, as well as the old bastions surrounding Tallinn’s Old Town dating back to the Swedish rule. The hall's waterfront location, its proximity to the passenger port, the seating for 4,200 people, ice rink, and cafés turned it into a great place for Tallinn residents as a cultural venue, but also as an element in the city's design. During the last event that took place here in December 2009, someone said "The City Hall is going to hibernation". Currently, negotiations are taking place to renovate the complex that can only be viewed from the outside and bringing it back into use.

Read more

Sillamäe (town)

Ida-Viru maakond, Sillamäe

Sillamäe is located near the Gulf of Finland, on the estuary of the Sõtke river. The industrial city was 'created' in 1946 when it was decided to establish a metallurgy plant there that reprocesses oil shale ore to get uranium oxides. Due to this industry, the city was closed off for a long time. Today, you have the possibility to examine the buildings from the post-war period of Stalin, classical style avenues, and museums. Sillamäe Museum and the exhibition of the Sillamäe Museum branch in the Sillamäe Cultural Centre offer town excursions on request.

Read more

Hiiumaa Military Museum

Hiiu maakond, Tahkuna küla

The Hiiumaa Military Museum is located in the former Tahkuna board guard station. The museum's most significant exhibit is the collection of coastal defence artillery. This includes 180 mm, 130 mm, and 100 mm artillery guns. The outdoor exhibition includes armoured vehicles such as the BTR-70 and BRDM-2, ZIL-157, GAZ-66, and other cars, as well as a blast shelter, a border guard cutter, naval mines, an anti-tank gun, a watchtower of the border guard, and radar and radio masts. A marine radar is located in the main building of the museum, still in its original place. The exhibition also includes artillery shells, shell casings, helmets, caps and uniforms, communication gear, and civil defence equipment.

Read more
Siin on turvaline

Original Sokos Hotel Viru

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Original Sokos Hotel Viru is located in the midtown of Tallinn, at the gates of Old Town. It was erected in 1972, following the Khrushchev Thaw of the 1960's and became an icon of Tallinn and the Estonian Republic is a whole. It drew upon popular modern styles from the time, from Northern Europe and especially Finland.

Read more

Kosmonautika Holiday Centre

Pärnu maakond, Penu küla

On the shores of the sea where once stood the legendary Vzmorye Holiday Centre, you will have the sunniest holiday you've ever had in Estonia! A renowned vacation destination for long-serving cosmonauts and scientists, it was chosen as the spot revealed to the be the sunniest on the western coast of the USSR. According to local legend, Valentina Tereshkova - the first-ever female cosmonaut - is said to have walked along the seashore here! The apartment-style cabins are perfect for families and small groups. The bay next to the centre is very safe and therefore ideal for small children.

Read more

Cinema Sõprus

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

The cosy hall of cinema Sõprus (Friendship in Estonian), that is located in the Old Town. It was built in 1955. From 1945 -1961 a post-war architectural was popular, and by the 1950's international Socialist Classicism became common. The hall of the oldest repertory cinema in Tallinn has 210 comfortable seats.

Read more

Viinistu Art Museum

Harju maakond, Viinistu küla

The Viinistu Art Museum opened its doors in 2002. The main building of the museum has been rebuilt from the cold building of the fish processing factory of the former fisherman's collective farm. Today, in the halls of the museum, you will find an exposition consisting of more than four hundred works in Jaan Manitski's rich art collection, which includes the works of Estonian artists from the 19th century to the present. The permanent exhibition provides a good overview of the history of Estonian art, offering at the same time the opportunity to peek into the world of one particular collector. The museum is the only one of its kind in Estonia. The exhibitions in the barrel galleries change every summer.

Read more

Villa Andropoff

Pärnu maakond, Valgeranna küla

Villa Andropoff is a holiday centre that is perfect for family holidays, company events, various celebrations. The area was built during Soviet times for the higher leaders of the Communist party and for their guests. It got its name since the order to build it came from Yuri Andropov's government.

Read more
Last updated : 22.04.2021

In category: History & culture