History & Legend, Tallinn
The pedicab driver told us a lot about the Soviet era memorials.
But this monument is to the Estonian Rear-Admiral Johan Pitka is situated at the south east corner of Hirvepark. The bust of Admiral Pitka, is on a black granite pedistal, and is flanked on both side with large stainless steel panels, designed in the shape of a hull of a ship. The bust is several times larger than a human head. Atop his head is a Naval Officers hat, with an anchor type symbol on the front. He is wearing a mustache and a goatee beard. The plinth is a retangular column made of black granite, that is twisted such that the corner faces forward. The large stainless steel panels are angled towards the sculpture of Pitka and have what appear to be large rivets on the edges of the panels. It is positioned so that the monument is facing east. Engraved in the base is:
Pitka organized the last defence of Tallinn against the advancing Red Army. The circumstances of his death remain unknown.
Another one is the Broken Line memorial which is a curving piece of steel in memory of the 852 people who lost their lives in the Estonia passenger ferry catastrophe on 28 September 1994. The stone plaque bearing the names of 501 Swedes, 280 Estonians, 23 Latvians, 10 Finns, and 2 Brits, 17 others who lost their lives in this disaster.
The mascot of Tallinn is Vaana Toomas, or old Thomas. The ledgend is that he was a young poor boy who wanted sneaked in on an anual competition between knits. It was a shooting competition held every may in the Parrot's garden. he competitors had to shoot down the wooden parrot placed on top of a high pole. The little boy shot the parrot down, making the knits and citizens angry (since they hadn't been able to fire a shot). The Mayor, however was amused, and made the young boy the town-guard (A great honor for a poor boy). Toomas proved his reliability several times during the Livonian war. He guarded Tallinn from the Town Hall in the shape of a statue from 1530. The original statue can still be seen inside the town hall.
A guide told me that Toomas is aquinted with another myth. Toomas is also supposed to be the one that tells the old man from the sea that Tallinn isn't finished.
Favorite thing: Every time we walked to and from our hotel to the city centre we passed this display of marionettes in their elegant 18th century costume, posed in front of a painted backdrop of Old Tallin. There seemed always to be children with their noses pressed to the glass looking at them but we never found out what story they were telling. They almost felt like friends by the time we said goodbye.
Favorite thing: The first written mention about the town was in 1154, so Tallinn has a fascinating Old Town - Vanalinn. Old building and churches were built in 13-16 centuries and are still good-looking. The Old Town consists of two parts: Toompea (Upper Town) and All-linn (Lower town). There are two streets between these parts: Pikk Jalg (Long Leg) and L?hike Jalg (Short Leg). We have a legend ?Why does Tallinn have a limp?? Because it has one leg short and another long:)))