Tallinn for longer – things to see when you have more time
When you have visited the Old Town, you can say you a little about the capital of Estonia. Tallinn's attractions reach much farther though, so if you can spend more time there, you are not going to get bored.
Breeze of modernity
Fancy a bit of modernity when you have already seen the old historic monuments of Tallinn packed within the boundaries of the city's small old town? If yes, you must visit Kum. It is an avant-garde edifice which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. Partially hidden underground, the building is an example of endeavours and ambitions of present-day Estonia, which is a small country but one that is successfully aspiring to become a well developed state. A testament to this is the level of life, technological development and social relations that place Estonia closer to Scandinavia than Central and Eastern Europe.
Do you like that face of Estonia? Now visit the Rotermann, a district which is another example of the country's strong economic and aesthetic development. There you will find some former port buildings with which very modern architecture was excellently merged, as well as office buildings, commercial premises and cultural spaces. Rather than lots of tourists, you are going to meet scores of Estonians there, which makes the place very authentic and shows the quality of local life.
Kadriorg palace complex
Now it's time to change the climate and atmosphere to a more elegant and dignified. In a vast landscape park, there stands a beautiful Baroque palace. One of Tallinn's most beautiful historic monuments, it looks like a miniature of pompous tsar residences you can see e.g. in nearby Saint Petersburg. Built in the first half of the 18th century, today its ornamented walls house an art gallery. A walk in the garden and a tour of the collections make a good idea for an interesting afternoon. A charming flower garden, which precedes the palace from the east, is a cherry on the cake. Some 100 metres farther along the palace axis, there is another palace - this one is closed to the public and serves as the seat of the President of Estonia.
At the Water Nymph statue there stretch a sandy beach where you can spend a whole sunny day. Well, Tallinn is a seaside city! Spread your blanket and catch a bit of sun or go for a long walk. Along the beach, there is also a nice promenade. When standing near the statue, on the left you will see the tops of the old town's spires, and a bit father, a giant ferry and passenger terminal from which cruise ships and car ferries depart.
In the centre of Tallinn you can have a walk down several streets packed with compact township buildings, where you will discover such monumental edifices as e.g. the Estonian National Opera and the Estonian Drama Theatre. A bit farther on you will find a site that is important for Estonians – the modernly arranged Freedom Square with the monument commemorating the fight for the country's independence in 1918-20. If you take a closer look when on the hill behind the monument, you will discover one of Tallinn's very valuable attractions and an important witness to the modern history of the Baltic States – it is a trace after the famous Chain of Freedom created by some 2 million people over a distance of over 600 kilometres in August 1989. Naturally, the freedom would not come without Solidarity, so there is also a commemoration of the Polish movement there.
Beautifully situated on the shore of the Baltic Sea in a bay getting deep inland, the heritage park is one of the most spectacular places in Tallinn. If you are not in a hurry, better reserve a few hours to see it. Spreading over a vast area full of green plants and natural beauty, it presents buildings of various styles and epochs from all regions across the country. For example, you can see how Estonians used to build their homes and farms, and how Russians did it. If you come there with your children, they will surely be much interested in various show, e.g. old craftsmanship. And you can enjoy the idyllic atmosphere of the by gone days!
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