Spring is coming to Estonia, or 5 unusual places you can visit near Tallinn in one day | Ants in Pants

Spring is coming to Estonia, or 5 unusual places you can visit near Tallinn in one day

Русская версия Unfortunately, so far we did not have any stories about the country where we have been living for five years – Estonia. Today we will write about the weekend, when spring finally came to Estonia, and we made a day trip in the area surrounding Tallinn.
Estonia-in-march

1. Waterfall and Jägala River.

We have started our route from Jägala River, located 30 km from Tallinn. There are several places to visit here and one of them is the waterfall (59.450099, 25.177810) 8 meters high and about 50 meters wide. Of course, this is not Niagara, but for the flat terrain of Estonia with the highest point of 318 meters, this is not so bad, is it? It is a favorite place for the inhabitants of Tallinn, here they come with their families and kids. The waterfall is especially beautiful in winter, but we got here only in March. This will be the reason to come back again.
Spring in Estonia

Jagala waterfall

Not far from the waterfall there is Linnamäe hydroelectric power plant with 11-meter dam (59.465491, 25.157564) and the suspension bridge (59.473895, 25.151800). The power plant is especially famous because the Soviet movie “Stalker” was filmed here. At that time, the power plant with a 90-year history was in ruins.
Jägala River

Hydro power plant

The suspension bridge nearby is a memorable place for honeymooners. They here come to hang their locks as a symbol of love and faith. This is also a very popular place for fishermen, since the bridge is located a few hundred meters from the Gulf of Finland and is considered as one of the richest fishing places in Estonia, especially for trout and salmon.
suspension bridge

2. Kiiu, the smallest castle in the Baltics.

Kiiu Fortress (59.447729, 25.386334) consists of only one tower with four floors and 1.8 meters thickness walls. The inner diameter of the tower is 4.3 meters. If you call the caretaker in advance, you can get inside.
Kiiu Fortress

3. Hara, the abandoned factory for demagnetization of submarines.

Next we got to the intersection (59.577555, 25.610652), where we had to leave the car. The entry to private property is prohibited, but you can walk on foot about 20 minutes. Even at such a short distance, we saw two vans labeled “patrol”. The road is under construction: it is being expanded and some huge lorry with freight passed us – maybe it is planned to build some new object.
Soon the road led us to the coast, and we saw Hara – a former Soviet base for demagnetization submarines, which operated in 1955-1993 years. Then, it was dismantled and abandoned.
Hara plant

abandoned factory

Soviet military base

Demagnetization of submarines.

The Research Center was located here also. Details and history can be found on the website only in Russian right now. After wandering through the remains of buildings and breathing the sea air, we went to the most northern point of mainland Estonia.

4. Cape Purekkari

(59.674268, 25.696435) – the northernmost point of mainland Estonia
Here you can wander through the 1.5 km long cape, listen to the sea and watch the birds. In spring and autumn, you can observe the flowering bushes of wrinkled roses.
Cape Purekkari

Baltic sea

On the way back towards Loksa, our attention was attracted by an abandoned building with a checking point, so we decided to pop in. In fact, there is nothing interesting: an ordinary abandoned building, where young people sometimes gather.
Loksa

5. Kolga Manor.

The last point planned on the route was Kolga manor (59.491928, 25.611429). The manor has a very rich history. So many things have happened there! Since 1230, the estate belonged to the Order of the white Cistercian monks. Later, in 1581 the Swedish king presented it to Swedish military commander Pontus De la Gardie. For many centuries, the building was being constructed and got the final exterior in 1820. Since the late 17th century to the summer of 2014, with some interruptions, the estate belonged to a noble Stenbock family. A special feature is a unique manor house church.
Kolga Manor

We were lucky: as soon as as we arrived, we saw a man near the building. He turned out to be Estonian actor Meelis Rondo, also a friend of the new manor owner. From time to time he helps here. Meelis kindly invited us to come in.
abandoned residence

Our new friend added to the knowledge we found from the Internet. The rich history of the building in addition includes the periods of a war hospital, dormitories and offices of the kolhoz (collective farm) in the Soviet period, as well as a restaurant in the post-Soviet period.
Now the abandoned building has a new owner, who bought it for quite a cheap price in order to preserve the heritage. Originally, the building was put up for auction for 29 million kroons, then 14, 12, 6 .. By the time when the euro replaced the Estonian kroon, the price was already 280 thousand euros. The final price was even lower. “Amazing auctions in Estonia”, thinks the reader. In fact, with the purchase of this estate, a new owner also purchases a huge problem. You cannot renovate it simply the way you want since this is a national heritage, and taking proper care of it costs a fortune. The estimated investments in renovation are about 4 millions euros. The European funds do not help, but money from occasional photo and film shoots support the building. The scenes from Rehepapp movie which will be released in 2017 were filmed here.
Estonia-in-march-DSC_2494

At the manor, there is also Kolga Museum; in the future, they are planning to restore the restaurant and organize concerts and exhibitions.
Saying “goodbye” to Rondo, we wished good luck to his friend and went back to Tallinn. We were very pleased with that Sunday. For a whole day we drove only 200 km, but got a lot of impressions. Our map (clickable):
what to see near Tallinn

For those, who are going to make their own route, we recommend to look at visitestonia.com site, where you will find a map describing all the Estonian sights with GPS coordinates.

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