Tag: Tallinn Field Trip

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Let's Talk Tallinn: When Distances Aren't Exact on the Culture 'Kilometer'

July 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM | by | Comments (4)

Who goes to Estonia?! Well, our roaming correspondent John Walton does and, all this week, he's been filling us in on what's up way up there in this world capital on the Baltic Sea.

It's almost time, sniff sniff, to leave Tallinn, and we're kind of heartbroken. We've come to love this tiny city in the far north, but before we go, let's go for a walk along the fascinating Kultuurikilometer—Tallinn's 2.6km-long Culture Kilometer, a walking/biking path that links up a set of nifty things to see and do towards the northwest end of the city center.

Most of the area was a military restricted zone during the Soviet period, since it was a strategically important area on the Baltic Sea. Since Tallinn was European City of Culture in 2011, there's all kinds of awesome stuff scattered along the Culture Kilometer, from murals to art exhibits to random cafés and hipster hangouts.

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Let's Talk Tallinn: The City's Five Most Bizarre Soviet Buildings

July 12, 2012 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (6)

Who goes to Estonia?! Well, our roaming correspondent John Walton does and, all this week, he'll be filling us in on what's up way up there in this world capital on the Baltic Sea.

Cards on the table: we love Brutalism in architecture. That's the angular, in-your-face, often concrete-formed style popular from the 1950s-70s, which often feels a little bit like a Star Trek: The Next Generation planetary facility. Slightly closer to home, Tallinn has a whole bunch of these awesome buildings. Which shouldn't be surprising—later Soviet architecture just loved the futuristic look of the things, but there are a few other architectural gems from the USSR days in Tallinn.

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Let's Talk Tallinn: 'There is Nothing Here' in the KGB Museum

July 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

Who goes to Estonia?! Well, our roaming correspondent John Walton does and, all this week, he'll be filling us in on what's up way up there in this world capital on the Baltic Sea.

We love hotels, we love museums...but the KGB Museum inside Tallinn's landmark Hotel Viru takes the hideous Soviet-era cake, and it's the best €7 we spent in Tallinn. (The museum, not the cake.)

Back in the days of the USSR, the top floor of the hotel was used as a KGB listening post. While much of the equipment was spirited away when Estonia became an independent state, there's still a fascinating amount of stuff up there.

It seems odd to be talking about a smell being part of history, but wait until you sniff the "Soviet Smell" as you walk into the old "photocopying room," which now holds all kinds of fascinating memorabilia from the days of the USSR. Don't miss the Complaints Book and the identical death notices for Andropov and Brezhnev.

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Let's Talk Tallinn: Walking the UNESCO Hanseatic League City Centre

July 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Who goes to Estonia?! Well, our roaming correspondent John Walton does and, all this week, he'll be filling us in on what's up way up there in this world capital on the Baltic Sea.

Okay, so we're totally obsessed with the Hanseatic League, the 13th-17th century set of merchant guilds spread across northern Europe from Britain to Finland. If you know what you're looking for, you'll spot the signature Hanseatic architecture everywhere from Hull in England to Helsinki in Finland.

Oh look, here's some now!

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Let's Talk Tallinn: Lauluvaljäk! The Estonian Song Festival Grounds

July 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Who goes to Estonia?! Well, our roaming correspondent John Walton does and, all this week, he'll be filling us in on what's up way up there in this world capital on the Baltic Sea.

Welcome—or Tere tulemast!—to Tallinn's Lauluvaljäk, the Song Festival Grounds where every five years over 100,000 people gather for one of the world's largest choral music festivals.

Yes, a hundred thousand people. In a country of just 1.3 million. Imagine a tenth of your country turning up and singing. Not only is that just plain awesome, but this is the scene of a key part of Estonia breaking away from the USSR in the late 1980s. For all the history, watch the fantastic documentary film "The Singing Revolution" by filmmakers Maureen and James Tusty.

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