Silent places by the sea, Paldiski, Estonia

Visited 12.4.2014 by skkye. Biking around Paldiski was a dream of urban adventurer. The endless chain of abandoned houses, ruins, lighthouses, military buildings and so on made it feel kind of unreal. There is a lot of marks of Soviet times everywhere. Actually, Paldiski was so important place for Soviet Union that the whole city was closed off with barbed wire until the last Russian warship left in August 1994.
   Unfortunately, I was so tired after spending freezing, sleepless nights in random forests I didn't have energy to get the whole potential of it - for example I didn't even visit the most famous abandoned place in Paldiski, the Soviet Navy nuclear submarine training centre. So I need to go back some time! Anyhow, there is some photos I took while cycling around it. This is also the last post from my Estonian trip.


The land of oblique gravestones, Harju County, Estonia

Visited by skkye 12.4.2014. An old graveyard I spotted while biking from Padise to Paldiski.


Padise abbey, Harju county, Estonia

Visited 11.4.2014 by skkye. I ended up in Padise kind of accidentally, it was just on my way from Haapsalu to Paldiski and I had to spent a night somewhere. Anyhow, Padise was one of my favourite places to visit, as usually spontaneous finds are.

Monastery of Padise was huge building with endless corridors going down to the dark cellars and up to the dizzying heights. It was raining heavily when I was inside the monastery and it made the atmosphere even more gloomy. Therefore I wasn't so surprised when I met another visitor in one dusky aisle and he jumped like three meters up and told me he thought I was a spirit of the monastery. I was kind of proud of this new honorary title.

Some parts of the history of the monastery are very tragic. This is summary from Wikipedia article:

Estonian monks began to build it in 1317. By 1343, at the time of the St. Georges night uprising, when it was still only partly built, the monastery was burnt down and 28 monks, lay brothers and German vassals were killed. Rebuilding began only after 1370 and abbey's heyday was around year 1400. At that time it was one of the most important spiritual centers in Estonia. From about 1500 however it began to sell off its lands and entered a period of decline. Nevertheless it survived the upheavals of the Reformation in the 1520s. 
   However, in the Livonian War, the last Master of the Livonian Order, Gotthard Kettler, fearing after the invasion of the Russians that the Swedes would occupy the monastery, occupied it himself in 1558, and in 1559 dissolved it, ejecting the monks and confiscating the buildings and estates. He converted the monastery itself into a fortress, which the Swedes duly took in 1561. In 1576 the Russians besieged and took it, and during their occupation strengthened the fortifications, but four years later were in their turn besieged by the returning Swedes, who regained it in 1580 after a long siege and a damaging bombardment.
   In 1622 King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden gave the estates of the former Padise Abbey to Thomas Ramm, Burgermeister of Riga, in the possession of whose family it remained until 1919. Ramm converted the premises into a Baroque country house. When in 1766 it was struck by lightning and burnt down, the Ramms used the stone to build a Neo-Classical manor house nearby.