National Library of Estonia
June 13–16

Sunday June 17 2018

  • 09.00–19.00
    Two Industrial Towns: Sillamäe and Narva
    Sillamäe, located near the Gulf of Finland, is an industrial town that was founded in 1946 and had restricted access for other inhabitants of the country. The city was home to the chemical and nuclear industry, especially uranium production, that was a part of the Soviet Union’s military programme. Sillamäe now offers a good overview of Soviet architecture from the Second World War to 1990. The location of the Stalin-era Neoclassicist old town is most picturesque with its staircase descending from the cliff and continuing as an axial boulevard lined by decorated residential buildings until it reaches the sea. Once a prime example of Baroque architecture in Europe, Estonia’s easternmost city Narva was heavily damaged in the Second World War and almost entirely rebuilt. The few historical monuments that have been preserved include the Hermann Fortress on the border of Estonia and Russia, which is the most diverse and best preserved medieval defence structure in Estonia. The area of the Narva waterfalls is the site of the Kreenholm Textile Factory established in 1857 that was one of the largest textile mills in Europe. Along with the factory buildings, housing for employees was simultaneously constructed and inspired by the working class neighbourhoods of England. The present-day look of Narva was formed during the 1950s–1970s.