Tallinn's Biggest Park: Kadriorg Park
Kadriorg Park is the largest and most beautiful park in Tallinn. Located right next to the presidential palace, the park is open to visitors.
You can jog or take a walk, sit on the benches by the pool and enjoy the nature. In and around Swan Lake, you are likely to see couples having their wedding photos taken on sunny days, as Kardiorg Park is one of the most popular places for wedding photos.
Right next to the pool is a monument to the famous writer Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald. The Estonian writer Kreutzwald is the author of the Estonian national epic Kalevipoeg. In the book, Kalevipoeg is described as a hero who carries giant boulders to hurl at enemies. The saga even says that he cried because he could not carry enough rocks to Toumpea in Tallinn to build the grave of his lost wife, and that he created Lake Ülemiste, which supplies Tallinn with water.
One of the most important buildings in the park is the palace built by Tsar Peter I. In 1712, Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great), who ruled Russia until his death in 1725 and founded the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia, married Ekaterina Alexiyevna. The name of Kadriorg Park comes from Peter’s wife. Catherine means Kadriorg in Estonian, meaning Catherine’s Valley.
The palace was built in 1718. The palace was built by Tsar Peter I for him and his wife to live together. Built by Nicollo Michetti and Gaettano Chiaveri as architect and assistant, the building was used as a governor’s office for many years, from 1741 to 1917, after which Nicholas II, the last Tsar of the Russian Empire and the last member of the Romanov Dynasty, liked the palace. He chose to send some of his paintings here instead of the White Palace in St. Petersburg.
Today the palace serves as an art museum. The office of the President of Estonia is also located here. You can tell if he is inside by the flag in the center of the building. If there is a waving Estonian flag, this is a sign that the Estonian president is in the palace.
The backyard of the palace, which is beautifully landscaped and has fountains at many points, has an equally beautiful design. The statue of Neptune in the center of the garden, holding a forked spear and a dolphin fish next to his right foot, was created by sculptor Mati Karmin in 2005.
The gallery-like Mikkeli Muuseum (Art Museum) and Miia-Milla-Manda Muuseum (Children’s Museum Miiamilla) are other museums that you can visit without visiting Kadriorg Palace. However, you should be aware that these museums are closed on Monday.
Kadriog Park also has a Japanese garden. Created in 2010 by horticulturist Aiakujundaja Masao Sone, the park is in very good condition. You can visit the park for free.
When you walk from the front of the palace towards the sea, after 600 meters, you will see a monumental sculpture by the sculptor Amandus Adamson. Russalka, the first sculpture by an Estonian in Estonia, was made in 1902. The Russalka monument, where an angel holds an Orthodox pilgrimage symbol and points to the water, takes its name from a ship that was shipwrecked in 1893, as we can understand from the relief on it. Eleven officers and 166 sailors lost their lives as a result of the accident in stormy weather. The statue, which was opened to view on September 7, the ninth anniversary of the shipwreck, was damaged during World War I and had to undergo restoration.
Transportation to Kadriorg Park
Kadriorn Park is a 30-minute walk from the Old Town. From the city center, you can get to the park by paying €1.60/0.80 for tram number 1 and getting off at the Kadriorg stop.