OK, it's not the most interesting sight in Tallinn, but the 134 metre high soviet era TV Tower on the outskirts of Tallinn holds a special significance for Estonians and is a symbol of their independence (Strange considering it was actually built by the Russians in 1980 for the Olympic Games!
The TV Tower is the scene of one of Estonia's most memeorable stand offs against the Russians. In 1991 that a group of Estonian radio operators held pout against an attempted Soviet takeover. The operators held the tower from the strong Russian unit by cutiing off the elevator forcing the Russians to climb the thousand steps to the top. The operaotrs were able to hold out against the Russians. Around the base of the tower you can still see bullet holes from the skirmish.
I think the TV tower is now closed to the public????
This Soviet tower opened on 7th November 1980 (Revolution Day). In August 1991, it was the scene of a stand off between Soviet troops (who wanted to seize the tower) and Estonians - eventually the Soviets back off and withdrew.
It costs about 50EEK but free with your Tallinn card. Open daily from 10am.
Go in and if and when you get it to work, you can take the wobbly lift to the top where there is a viewing platform at 170m high. In fine weather you should apparently be able to see as far as Helsinki.. however, it's dingy and the windows have been whipped with the salt from the sea so I doubt that! Perhaps you can see Helsinki if you use the telescopes up there?
There is the Galaxy Restaurant up there but that is another story!!!
The day we went to the Teletron it was bitter cold with a whippingly ice cold wind. Nobody was there, save us and it did not have a very jolly atmosphere.
Note - we waited like idiots at a bus stop but there is anctually a bus depo (out the eliments a little more also) and you can hop on the bus (with your Tallinn card) from there. The windows were so coated in salt that we couldn't see out. The bus seemed to trundle on for ever so we hopped off thinking we must have missed our stop - as luck would have it... we hopped off at our stop.
We had to wait a VERY long time to catch a bus back to Tallinn town and it was very dark and extremely cold (not much fun really!)
I would definitely advise stopping at this place. The Television Tower was under seige in 1991 from the Russian army. I remember vividly watching the drama unfold and so it felt a bit strange cosily supping on a coffee in the restaurant at the top of the tower. At the bottom of the tower there is a great example of soviet era glass artwork showing pictures of communist solidarity. The restaurant at the top offers outstanding views of the surrounding area at 170m. It really is worth stopping off because the views are amazing. Some people say that Finland can be seen on a good day but unfortunately when I arrived it was cloudy. It would cost 50 EEK each but is free with the Tallinn card.
The most memorable view from the tower had to be of the town's neighbourhood of Lasnamae. A mass of tower blocks that stretched for miles and had to be seen to be believed. Built for workers from the Soviet Union to take up jobs at factories, around 200,000 people were accomodated here.
Its worth taking a taxi ride out from the old town and going to the TV Tower. Its 170m at the restaurant-bar. So you can have a drink, lunch or dinner as its open from 10am till 12 midnight.
It costs 50 eek to enter the tower but its free if you have Tallinn card.
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