Tallinn’s Kadriorg Park and a Soviet-Era TV Tower

And we’re back in Tallinn! (The eastern part of the city, in fact.) Here you’ll find Kadriorg Palace, which was built in the 18th century for Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great of Russia. These days it serves an art museum, although one that Frommer’s isn’t particularly impressed with. I didn’t go inside the palace so I can’t speak for myself, but its exterior appears somewhat pleasing.

Kadriorg Palace

The palace garden is also something to admire, with certain interesting features of its own (as seen in the below photo).

Neptune assaults a dolphin

Surrounding Kadriorg Palace is a park that appeared to be busy when I was there. Some people were taking walks with their families, while others were jogging along the footpaths. Everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperature that day.

Kadriorg park

Kadriorg park
Joggers along a footpath in the direction of the Russalka Memorial

As I walked to the edge of the park I encountered a memorial with a bit of history to its name. The Russalka Memorial was built at the turn of the 20th century to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the sinking of the Russian warship Rusalka. The angel at the top of the pillar holds an Orthodox cross pointing in the presumed direction of the ship. (Read this article to learn more about why the Orthodox cross has three bars, one of which is slanted.)

Russalka Memorial
Russalka Memorial

As I continued on I saw a sandy beach, with people flying what I can only describe as a cross between a kite and a parachute. There must be a name for that object and what they were doing, but I’m not going to search for it.


Heading even more to the east – by bus – I arrived at the Tallinn TV tower, or Tallinna teletorn. Opened in 1980, it is the highest structure in Estonia at 314 metres. At the base you can buy tickets to ride the lift to the top, and while waiting for your lift there is a small room chronicling the construction phases of the tower.

An interesting factoid I learnt was that construction was inefficient as a result of a silly bureaucratic requirement. Each month, there was supposed to be some manner of improvement over the previous month. Rather than spurring the builders towards perfection, this requirement had the unintended consequence of discouraging improvement. The rationale behind this was that once a very high level of quality was achieved, there would be very little to improve on – making it difficult to meet this inane regulation.

Tallinn TV Tower
Tallinn TV Tower

From the tower’s observation deck many parts of Tallinn are visible. In addition to the Old City, one can also see Lasnamäe, another district of the city. It is full of Soviet-era high-rise residential buildings and used to have an unsavoury reputation, though I was told by an Estonian that today the situation has changed greatly for the better.


This shall be it for Tallinn! I have two more posts about Estonia but these are in cities outside the capital, so stay tuned.