Maarjamäe Memorial Complex in Tallinn

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on 27 June, 2006 on the outskirts of Tallinn. The memorial complex is located on the coast northeast of the city, right aside the coastal highway. The memorial complex was probably host to large-scale memorial events during the late Soviet period, but has fallen into total disrepair.

This is the long seaside prominade leading out of Tallinn. The memorial complex is visible on the green hill in the background.
Here is the view looking back at Tallinn. In the foreground, one of the locals is courting a swan.
Here we are closer to the memorial complex. The long ramp leads up from the highway to the obelisk and bleachers.
This is the view walking up the ramp into the complex.
This is the central point of the complex. Straight ahead, through the "portal" between the two cement "ramps," is the way to the German military cemetery.
Standing on the central point, this is the view to the right, away from the coast and the highway. The German military cemetery extends (out of view) from the left, around this pathway, and to the right.
Here is a closeup of the view straight ahead. Stone memorials on the pathway behind are barely visible in the photo.
This is the view looking back at Tallinn from the other side of the portal.
We have now walked a bit past the portal and are looking back at it. To our left there is a walkway with Soviet memorial stones. That walkway also leads to the German military cemetery. The white triangle in the background is the end of the pathway we had seen looking right from the central point in the complex.
Here is the view turned slightly left. The German military cemetery is straight ahead.
The memorial stones are for Soviet units which fought against the Germans in Estonia during the Second World War. This one is for an aviation regiment.
...a howitzer brigade... infantry regiment...
This is the stone on the left, not in the row on the right. It reads, "To the heroic defenders of Tallinn in honor of the 40th anniversary of the defense in 1941."
These are the last several Soviet unit memorials. The crosses from the German military cemetery are clearly visible now.
Here we are a few steps further on, looking back at the portal and the unit memorials.
Here is the view looking straight back through the portal.
Now, when we walk back through the portal and turn right, in a direction we have not yet looked, we enter the "stadium" section of the complex. This is the view on the right.
Further on, we can look down onto the highway and the Baltic Sea.
Turning around, with our back to the water, this is what we see. The portal is on the left behind the hands. The German military cemetery is out of view in the distance.
This is from the same location, just looking up to the right.
The seats, where once crowds of Lenin Pioneers, school classes, or proud parents once sat, are falling apart.
We can walk around and up to the obelisk that towers above the complex.
This is the view looking back down at the complex.
The memorial stone near the obelisk indicates that memorial (or perhaps just the obelisk?) was erected in honor of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution.
This is the view from the central point looking back down the ramp into the complex.
All the main promenades are walled in by these grassy sides. I have now climbed one. I am looking away from the water toward German military cemetery. That cemetery's gray crosses are visible on the right and left in the background.
Walking on toward the German military cemetery, this is the view looking back at the central point, toward the Baltic.
This is the wall at the end of the path.
Looking back toward the Baltic sea.
This is the view from the highway, looking up at the "stadium" section.
These two structures are obviously part of the memorial complex, but they are separated from the rest by the highway

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