The Soviet Union had a strange obsession with statues. But the Soviet Union has been gone for a long time now, and where have all these statues gone?
I’m not sure about most of them, but I found some in what could be described as a Soviet Statue Graveyard in Tallinn. And I’m here to share with you what I saw there.
The last century wasn’t the best one for Estonia. The country fought Nazi Germany and then the Soviets and lost. It was only in 1991 that Estonia was finally free. But the scars of years of occupation were still there. The communist era was still there with its statues and symbols.
A harsh reminder of the years of the past.
I knew I was going to Estonia as a part of NBE Finland 2017, so I researched something odd to visit in Tallinn and this was on the top of my list of places to see.
Taking a walk among the Soviet Statue Graveyard in Tallinn
Right now, things are a little bit different. The statues are not completely abandoned like they used to be, and they will be a part of the new Museum of Estonian History to be open in 2018. When I visited the statues in early 2017, they were being placed in a new resting place. Somewhere, a little better than before but without the greatness of the past.
But still, Lenin’s head was staring at me the entire rainy morning that I was there with Evo Terra, my partner in crime for the Soviet Statue Graveyard. And Lenin wasn’t alone there. There were, at least, four of his heads there. Some of them are still attached to a body. Some are not.
Most of them were made of steel, but there was even a marble one there. Behind you can see some of his former comrades. Mikhail Kalinin shows his face there without his hand. Stalin is also there, and it’s weird to see him there.
They’re surrounded by other communist statues, with faces that I can’t recognize without their official name tags. Maybe some of you are reading this can, but I can’t. Sorry.
I grew up in Brazil, far from any Soviet influence, and maybe this is what fascinates me about these statues. They are symbols of Soviet strength, and they were dumped by Estonia when the country got its freedom back. They will be a small part of the History Museum but are still outside the main building. They sat in the rain like they were not invited to be a part of Estonia’s official history.
This Soviet Statue Graveyard is an odd find in a beautiful city like Tallinn. All of the statues seem out of place, even if it seems they will be a part of an upcoming exhibition at the Estonian History Museum. Maybe this is the price you pay for being the only remains of a country that doesn’t exist anymore. Perhaps this is what happens to the ones that lost.
You can visit the Soviet Statue Graveyard behind the Estonian History Museum. At the time of my visit, the museum was still under construction so I just walked where I saw some of the statues. Nobody bothered me and I just went there and took my pictures.
Maybe, this won’t happen once the museum is open to the public but I cannot say how it will work.
Getting to the place is easy; you can easily walk there from the city center. I took a taxi there since it was raining and it cost me less than 6 euros. Maybe you should do the same.
Close to the Soviet statue graveyard is the Maarjamäe Memorial Complex, where some scenes from the movie Tenet were filmed. Whenever you go to the area, take your time to explore everything around you.
Soviet Statue Graveyard behind the Estonian History Museum
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