It is no accident that the Estonian parliament building is located quite literally in the shadow by the Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox cathedral, and the symbolism of the Russian dominance over internal Estonian affairs (particularly during the Soviet era) is apt.
The Parliament building was commissioned by Catherine the Great and only dates back to the 18th century: however, there has been a fort on this site since the 9th century and fragments of a 13th century still remain. Some remnants of the castle still remain, including the slender Pikk Hermann tower, over which the Estonian flag flies. The flag was first raised here in 1989 (when displaying the Estonian flag was still illegal) as an act of defiance over Soviet occupation, and this precipitated a chain reaction of civil disobedience which ultimately culminates in Estonia's independence in 1991.
One of the things that I like about Central and Eastern European buildings is the fact that they paint them in such pretty colours which give cities warmth even when the weather is grim - Brits (who seldom, if ever, ventures beyond white paint) could learn a lot from their Continental brethren in this regard! I loved the fact that the Parliament building is painted pink, and the contrast against the pristine white snow and milky white sky on the day we visited was gorgeous.
The Parliament building is located on the edge of a small cliff which separates Toompea Hill from the park below. The nicest way to approach is from the south (taking the road up the hill from the Museum of Occupation up through the park), from where the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral slowly reveals itself through the trees.
Although Estonia became an independent republic in 1991, this was not the first time Estonians have enjoyed their own sovereignty. After World War 1, the Estonian people fought a war of independence against their Soviet occupiers, and won, gaining international recognition, joining the League of Nations (the old UN), and establishing their first democracy.
Those first elections brought about a Parliament that needed a building. The castle was the traditional seat of power, but had no room for the ministers, so they constructed the Riigikogu as an adjunct. The Riigikogu is fronted by the recognizable, and striking pink Traditionalist facade. Inside, however, it becomes more experimental, blending into Expressionism.
For me the parliament building was most memorable as being the backdrop for the Estonian president, when he came out to speak on the issue of the Bronze Soldier. The soldier was a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Union, soldiers the Russians see as liberators, and the Estonians see as occupiers; a clear and obvious flashpoint in an ethnically divided country like this one.
Parliament house could be called the part of Toompea castle, as this building was added at first quarter of XX century to Toompea castle. It is neo-classicist style. There are a famous White hall with big balcony, where is possible to overlook Nevski Orthodox Cathedral and Loosi square around.
Estonian parliament is called "Riigikogu".
The Riigikogu is the seat of the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia. The older part of the castle can be seen by walking towards Kiek in de Kok from the Lossi Plats and then turning right and walking down the hill a little besides the castle.
There you can look back and view the stone walls, which have been there for centuries. The pink section at the front was added in 1922 along with its courtyard. Its a beautiful building and is worth the short, if steep walk up Pikk Jalg, as you can also look at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral & the Kiek in de Kok, which are in close vicinity.
In the same square with Lutheran Cathedral is Estonia's pink Parliament building, which was erected on the grounds of former monastery in 1920-1922 and presents expressionism. Is having pink public buildings an Estonian thing I wonder?
This very interesting pink building sits next to the Alexander Nevsky Church in Toompea. The building houses the Estonian parliament and is directly next to a nice park wear Tall Herman (the tower) stands.
The Estonian flag flying over the handsome pink and white building of the State Assembly is a symbol of the country's freedom from long years of occupation. War and the years of post-war occupation saw hundreds of thousands of Estonians either flee the country, or be deported or imprisoned, but the hunger for freedom, and the determination to regain it, was never lost. Beginning with the Singing Revolution - peaceful nightly demonstrations at the Song Festival grounds - the momentum grew and on August 20, 1991, Estonia declared Independence. Russia bowed to the inevitable and formally recognised the declaration on September 6. The first elections were held in 1992 following the adoption of a democratic constitution and the introduction of the kroon as currency.
Below the Assemby building, on Falgi Tee, a large boulder makes a simple monument to the declaration of August 20.
The tall tower standing at the south-east corner of the Assembly building is the 15th century Tall Hermann, a last remnant of the mediaeval castle begun here in 1229.
Toompea Castle is one of Estonia’s oldest and grandest architectural groupings.
Built in the 13th to the 14th centuries, the castle is situated on the steep limestone coast, 50 meters above sea level. It is one of the most potent symbols of reigning power, conquered over the centuries by various nations. Today, the Estonian Parliament is housed here.
pink parliament house (1870) with lofty gardens ....built on a hill which was the starting oint for the baltic chain of freedom.
this human chain stretched unbroken from here to vilnius in august 1989.
The Estonian Parliament Building (Toompea Castle) is pink and sits upon Toompea Hill. The walking portion of the city bus tour passes by this important building for the Estonian government.
It's pink! =D
Great reason to check the place out, in my opinion.
Nice architecture as well.
You can't miss it if you're up here to see the nevskij
cathedral so you might as well have a look. =)
This is the old classic Estonian parliament building on the top on the hill in the old city. I still have no idea who decided to make it pink ;-)
The castle was built in the 13th and 14th century. It is situated on a fifty meters high hill, towering over the city.
Today, the Estonian Parliament is housed here.