Few km from Paldiski towards the top of Pakri peninsula You can see Windmills. This is our green energy - with middle wind this windmills produce electricity more than paldiski town needs. Towers are 80 meters tall. It´s interesting to walk between them if they are working. Huge shadows of windmill wings run very fast accross the landscape.
The Russian navy searched the whole coastline to find a suitable site, and chose Paldiski as the location of its future port facilities. During Soviet times a naval base and training centre for atomic submarine personnel were situated here. (You can still take a look at the training centre, which is called the ‘Pentagon’ by Estonians.)
PS! I was back in Paldiski 2009 summer and " Pentagom " was demolidhed. Nothing left of it...
The Pakri lighthouse (in Paldiski, Estonia) can be seen from far, it is 52 meters high. The present brick tower was built in 1889. It has surely seen a lot...
The tower cannot be visited inside.
Pakri lighthouse is still working and is an active aid to navigation.
This building used to be the headquarters and the main administrative building and training centre of the former Soviet navy and nuclear submarine base in Paldiski, Estonia. The locals (at least Estonians) call it "the Pentagon".
Still now it is almost totally surrounded and closed off by barbed wire; the only place where I didn't see any wire was the main facade/entrance area.
Paldiski is a small town, also a port, by the Baltic sea in the north-western part of Estonia, only some 50 kms from the capital Tallinn. There are only 4000+ inhabitants in today's Paldiski.
Paldiski became a Soviet Union Navy nuclear submarine training centre in the early 1960's. It used to employ as many as 16 000 people, and it was the largest corresponding facillity in the whole Soviet Union. Because of its importance, the whole city was closed with barbed wire until the last Russian war ship left in 1994. Russia finally left control of the nuclear reactor facilities in September 1995.
Still today one can see the -partly badly ruined- buildings and stores and warehouses as well as some guarding towers. The headquarters (called Pentagon) is still standing (see my separate tip for that).
If you are interested in history or war history, check this area. I don't know any other place where you can get so close watching such a previously secret and guarded area of the Soviet Union. But - be careful: the roads may be very bumpy, drive slowly not to break your car. And don't touch any unknown objects either. Otherwise it is a safe area.
There is signed ( blue lines ) hiking trail on the peninsula which takes approx. day to walk
and half a day with bicycle.
Left to its own devices for more than 30 years, nature was given
the opportunity to grow wild in this area and you can find plant
species here that only grow on Pakri peninsula. The height of the
rocky cliff here is 25 metres; the top layers are Ordovician
limestone, while below them is Cambrian sandstone and shale.
Here the bank rises directly from the sea and its crevices conceal a rare bird belonging to the
penguin family. There is a limestone lighthouse on the bank that was built in 1889.
In 1939 Paldiski became the naval base of the Soviet Army with lots of submarines that patrolled the Baltic sea.
Can you remember the Soviet submarine which stuck on the Swedish coast during 1980s?
The main part of Paldiski was destroyed in World War II and remained therefor a closed town up to the restoration of the Republic of Estonia.
Take a look at the magnificent limestone banks in Paldiski. The banks are at times as high as more than 100 meters. It's really exciting to climb there and look into all the caves, but be careful not to fall and hurt yourself.
I didn't get as far as the lighthouse but saw some of the remains of the Soviet naval base. The blocks of flats of which the town largely consists date obviously from Soviet times. I viewed the harbour but had to give my name and nationality to a guard before he would let me pass the checkpoint at the harbour entrance. From the harbour a boat with about six people on board was about to leave for the island of Vaike-Pakri.
Most of the population appeared to be Russian. It was a Sunday and from a ground floor flat I could hear sung orthodox worship in progress. Through the window of the flat I caught a glimpse of a mystic candlelit world.
It's almost a tourist trap because Lighthouse is on the end of Pakri peninsula and is on the same place where the coast bank is the highest. It's not sure You can climb to top but sometimes You can ask to go upstairs if You find friendly lighthouse guard ;)
The bank on top coast of Pakri Peninsula was formed about 500 000 000 years ago on Australia travelling by this time to Estonian north coast. You can find exotic animals in stones, it's great view from bank to the sea. Hiking route starts from Peter Hills to Leetse village on the coast, it's marked and has medium size difficulty for hikers. You can climb a bank by special equipment.
Suur-Pakri and Väike-pakri are two unhabitated islands near the Paldiski over the sea. They have great nature hiking paths around the island, long enough to spend a whole day or weekend on it.