Urban Exploration by Chanz
If you are looking for something what is not filled with tourists, and like ghost cities, then Viivikonna in Estonia is place for you to visit! This place is easily reachable with car and it only takes around 2 hours to drive here from Tallinn. So why not rent a car, and visit Narva and Sillamäe at the same trip, definetly worth your time!
Viivikonna has a long history already from Soviet times, really dark one. During the 2nd worldwar the city was filled with prisoners by Nazis and they build the city. You can see it from the style of the buildings, it is quite stalinistic. The downhill of the town begun in 1974 when the mine located here was closed.
There is still few people living in here despite it does not have any electricity or running water since the beginning of year 2000. City is located near Narva and Russian border, around 30 km away.
If you are interested of old, abandoned places, here you will have something to see for hours. Remember to take any refreshments and snacks with you, since there is no services in the city. Mobilephones are working somehow in the area. When exploring the area, please respect the few remaining people still living in there.
How to get here
It is really simple, you need to have a car, or maybe a bicycle will do. Navigation systems will find this place easily. Just start following the road to Narva from Tallinn. There is a good place to have small break after Rakvere (which itself is worth to visit) in the Olerex service station that is open 24/7 and serves also food. It takes around 2.5 hrs to drive here, and the road is in excellent condition.
Read our article of Sillamäe, that is located ca. 12 km from Viivikonna.
If you are looking for more exciting places to visit, why not try the prison of Patarei in Tallinn?
Check the pictures from our visit below. Click one of the pictures to enter the gallery mode!
Our staff likes to travel all around in Estonia and other countries, as you propably have already figured out from our blogposts! This time we visited the city of Sillamäe, which was long known as the “Forbidden city”.
Sillamäe is located around 180 km from Tallinn in Ida-Virumaa. It takes littlebit over 2 hours to drive there, and when you are heading there, you can also visit Rakvere, Narva and Viivikonna! Definetly worth a daytrip.
In Sillamäe, there is is about 14.000 people living at the moment, and in the 2011’s census over 87% of them were russians and only under 5% estonians. Sillamäe was basicly closed and forbidden city to enter until 1991 by russians because it was producing uran for nuclear power and other importan metals for the soviet.
Currently the city is open, and is well taken care of. You can find the usual shops, cafe’s and restaurants. In the area you can visit Langevoja and Ukuoru waterfalls, and nearby there is the abandoned city Viivikonna.
There is a nice promenade, that starts from the seafront, and ends with the stairs that leads to the church, park and the mainstreet. The park and its monument is dedicated to the Estonian Singing Revolution, that took place between 1987-1991. At the end of the revolution, Estonia finally claimed back its independency.
You can download the map of Sillamäe from here.
More information about the sightseeings in the area can be found from here.
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See below the pictures wee took during our visit, click them to go directly to the gallerymode!
Regular traffic between Finland and Estonia is very important to us, and it all started with steamships.
Regular traffic between Finland and Estonia started already in year 1837, and has been ongoing since. There has been small disturbances in the traffic caused by wars.
When Soviet Union took over Estonia, the traffic was halted until 1965, when regular traffic begun again with steamships. Last ships that used steam were discontinued at 1981.
S/S Wellamo was build 1898 and was the first ship that was able to sail during the winter. Wellamo was lost in 1916 when german submarine sank it in front of Kokkola.
Ariadne was build in 1914, and it was sailing in route Helsinki-Tallinn-Swienemnde-Stettin. It was sailing in Tallinn traffic 1920-1930.
Between the wars there was many so called “summerships” sailing to Tallinn. One of them was Åboland Ångfartys S/S Express.
In 1970’s, the time of the steamships started to be over. In 1972 Bore II was scheduled for cruises to Tallinn every monday.
Now its easier than ever to travel to Tallinn and back. Traveltimes are around 2-3 hours, and
you can choose from several companies, like Tallink, Viking Line and Eckeröline. There
are restaurants, shops and entertainment aboard and larger ferries takes over 2000 passangers.
Ps. Did you know that Chanz was founded and is operating in Estonia.