Linnahall (a.k.a V. I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sports) is one of the biggest eyesores in all of Tallinn; drab, grey and ugly… perhaps this is why I love it so much.
Built during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, this derelict concert hall has somehow managed to blur the line between Soviet monstrosity and brutalist beauty. They do say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, so I’m going with the latter.
This is not the first time Linnahall has made an appearance on Hidden Tallinn. I have written about this place before and I regularly visit with tour groups or on my own to take in a good Baltic sunset. So why, are all these years, have I decided to revisit this famous Soviet remnant?
In this new ear of gentrification, many of the buildings and locations I used to treasure are being repurposed or bulldozed (even Patarei Prision is up for auction!) I’m aware that this is an inevitability in 21st century Europe but nonetheless, I want to keep the story of these places alive as best as I can.
Broken windows are always so enticing
Linnahall is one of my favourite Soviet buildings in Europe so, partly for my own amusement, I decided to take a slow walk around the perimeter one evening documenting the small details that many of us miss in our brief encounter with this place.
The result is this collection of images: a photographic tribute to Linnahall. I hope you enjoy them, and don’t forget to treasure your abandoned places while they’re still here.
Stairway to… nowhere
Linnahall is a wild place
Patarei Prison; a reminder of darker times
Watch your step
Enemies guard the stairs
Beauty in brutalism
Iconic Linnahall lampposts
The golden hour
Another ferry delivers passengers back to Tallinn
Soviet monstrosity or brutalist beauty?
Linnahall is one of the first stops on my Soviet Walking Tour. If you would like to come and explore Soviet Tallinn with me, click on the image below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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