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.

Tallinn Television Tower

The Tallinn Television Tower in Pirita is the tallest building in Tallinn and Estonia at 314 metres. The TV Tower is a great tourist, culture, and leisure centre. Waiting for you at the tower: - a panoramic view from 170 metres; - outdoor terrace on the 21st floor; - interactive multimedia solutions that introduce Estonia and Tallinn; - view of the ground through the glass floor of the platform; - an adrenaline-filled walk on the edge; - futuristic interior milieu; - cinema hall; - attractions for children; - mini TV studio; - gift shop. The exhibition ”GENE-IUS” takes us far into the past, deep within, and hopefully forward. Genes are a part of our inner space that you cannot negotiate with. Genes determine our appearance and also partly what our health will be like during our lives. The journey of investigating our genes is full of wonderful discoveries and is also useful! Tallinn Television Tower is closed on the 22th of September.

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Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

Tallinn Song Festival Grounds are a popular venue for events. It is best known as the place where the Estonian Song Festival is held, but the region's largest outdoor concerts take place here as well. The arch of the Song Festival Grounds can hold up to 15,000 singers and there is enough room for 100,000 people in area for viewers. Here you'll find history and views! It is possible to climb to the top of the Lighthouse, which is 42 metres high and overlooking the city and the Tallinn Bay. The complex of the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is very valued architecturally and is the first post-war building in Tallinn which was completed in 1960. The park is open for walking, sports activities and having a picnic. National registry of cultural monuments.

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Okta Centrum

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

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Tallinn City Hall

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.

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Sillamäe (town)

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.

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Original Sokos Hotel Viru

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.

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Kosmonautika Holiday Centre

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.

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Cinema Sõprus

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.

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Villa Andropoff

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.

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Last updated : 22.04.2021

In category: History & culture