Linnahall - a Fading Masterpiece of Soviet Architecture in Tallinn | CruiseBe
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Linnahall - a Fading Masterpiece of Soviet Architecture in Tallinn

lavagra • 5 minutes read • January 27th, 2017
Walking around Tallinn, I unexpectedly noticed a giant abandoned construction by the sea. It was something like a huge prehistoric mound almost merging with the horizon of the gray sea and city panoramas. Of course, I hastened to explore the strange building closer. That's how I got acquainted with, probably, the Tallinn's main surviving relic of Soviet era - once well known Linnahall.
In Soviet times, it was called much more loudly - V. I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport. It was built on the eve of the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980. The fact is that Tallinn was chosen for the sailing regatta. Of course, it was difficult to organize it in the capital of the USSR. Everything was built on a large scale and with a bombast to impress foreign visitors.
It's hard to believe that a dome of this concrete sarcophagus hides a large concert hall for almost five thousand people. Moreover, there's a hockey arena with stands for another three thousand people nearby.
Desolation of this huge building started immediately after the declaration of Estonian independence. Vandals and looters climbed in it many times. Later, private companies became interested in this huge real estate item. Linnahall looks like a giant square with a raised top. There are a lot of stairs, terraces and open spaces.
Quays and fountains were equipped from the seaward. Now this is a mooring place for speedboats plying in Helsinki. In addition, there is a helipad nearby. Only the fountains has been already destroyed for many years.
Of course, this ambitious project took the overall urban landscape into account. Nevertheless, it looks like the absurd monument to Soviet architecture on the background of the Old Town. Estonian architects even received a State Prize for it. Now the whole building is neglected, destroyed and given to local graffiti artists.
Nevertheless, there's still life in this place. You can get inside Linnahall by going down a broad staircase into a kind of a concrete ditch. You can see here many gates in garages, an advertisement of a car service center. There's even light under a Soviet inscription meaning "Administration".
Inside arches of dolomite bricks vividly reminded me of military fortifications.
In fact, various events, concerts were held in Linnahall up to 2009. Then new owners have closed this building finally for the reconstruction, which has not begun to this day.
The authorities, as well as common residents, apparently don't care about the future of this monster no more. Probably the complete dismantling of Linnahall is close. I suppose, the land here is very expensive. I am upset! Architects received their prize for a reason. You just have to climb to the top of Linnahall to understand this. It offers excellent views of the Old Town and of the port.
In addition, here you can see a proper geometric arrangement of the building in relation to the Gulf of Finland and the city's main landmarks.
The main walkway with lanterns built over the hockey arena also looks great. Once it was a very lively place with mothers walking with their children, with young people having fun. Now people rarely come here.
All the lovers of abandoned buildings should definitely visit this place. Moreover, because Linnahall may disappear forever very soon. Linnahall is the true monument to the Soviet period in Estonia. At that time this country was a real and almost the only available foreign country for many people in the Soviet Union.
Now, Tallinn bets on its beautiful Old Town or on modern buildings, trying to forget everything that happened in this country in the postwar period. Linnahall no longer exists in the list of local attractions and not everyone is able to find this place. Even if he wishes to find it. Time will show whether this concept is right or not...
Author: lavagra
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova

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