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Maarjamäe War Memorial – Tallinn (Estonia)

Obelisk at Maarjamäe War Memorial, Tallinn (Estonia)

While reviewing photos from my visit to Tallinn a few years ago, I stumbled upon a few images of the strangely haunting Maarjamäe War Memorial.

This Soviet-era monument is not exactly off the beaten path, as it is listed in guidebooks, but is definitely not one of Tallinn’s main sights. Yet, I was immediately drawn to its bleak, clean lines as I found it on my way to the Pirita Yachting Centre -which was constructed for the 1980 Olympic Games and I found completely unremarkable, by the way.

The monument was erected in commemoration of the fallen Red Army soldiers in the 1918 invasion of Estonia. For this reason, it is understandably not cherished by the locals and remains mostly abandoned, thus adding to the slightly surreal atmosphere of the place.

The elegant shape of the obelisk rising proudly against the cloudy skies, and the contrast between the green slopes and the grey dolomite slabs and walls made for some very interesting geometrical compositions.

There’s a lot to see and enjoy in Tallinn, and I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit this memorial, but if you have some spare time, I’d say it’s worth a visit. From the pictures I’ve found on the internet, the complex, located right next to the Baltic Sea looks much less eerie but equally striking in sunny days.

Have you visited the Maarjamäe memorial? What were your impressions?


    1. It is. And I didn’t mention it is built on the grounds of a cemetery for German soldiers, which has been moved nearby.

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