Excursion to Paldiski: Places, power and the physical: from Padise to Paldiski, from medieval to Soviet ideas shaping the environment in North Estonia

25th of August

Duration: 9:00–16:00

Start of the excursion : 9:00, Tallinn University, Mare House parking lot, Uus-Sadama 5

End of the excursion : 16:00, Tallinn University, Mare House parking lot, Uus-Sadama 5

Minimum of participants: 12

Price: 40 EUR

The price includes excursion, transport and a picnic meal.

This day-trip is based on synthesising the experience of a historical geographer examining the past of the Pakri peninsula and the northern coast of Estonia west of its capital city of Tallinn. The ecological, social, and cultural boundeness is revealed by a tour guide taking visitors around a landscape where both the human-built environment and nature reach their respective limits (for Estonia) – and provide plentiful possibilities for past, present, and future interpretation. The focus is on the ways how the environment has dictated the creation of places at different times in history and what stories we tell about such places today. We visit the nineteenth-century neo-Gothic Keila-Joa manor by a waterfall, the Pakri peninsula with its 'ice-free and ideal' harbour town and military base of Paldiski, which dates back to the Russian empire, but is especially known for having been one of the nuclear submarine training bases of the Soviet Union. Thereafter, we will have a picnic on the coastal cliff (Glint) on Pakerort or by the St Matthias church; and finally explore the ruins of the medieval Padise Cistercian monastery.

Tour guide Tiina Peil is a historical geographer interested in interactions of people and nature over time. Her research has focused on islands and coastal culture, landscape and home; history of environmental ideas and the practices of geography. Recent researchthemes include urban (environmental) history; travel and tourism and their impact on the local environment. As a guide of special tours focusing on Estonian landscape history, art and architecture, she has 25 years of experience. Her book ‘The town that never was – Paldiski’ is forthcoming this year.  

Contact: Tiina Peil, PhD, senior researcher, The School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University,



Photos/Copyright Tiina Peil and Tiit Leito