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Photo by: Toomas Volmer

Kadriorg – Elegant park & fine art

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Kadriorg is a quiet, leafy area within easy walking distance of Old Town. After Russian tsar Peter the Great conquered the Baltics in the early 1700s, he established an estate with a public park on this spot.

After Russian tsar Peter the Great conquered the Baltics in the early 1700s, he established an estate with a public park on this spot. He named the area Ekaterinenthal (Catherine’s Valley, or Kadriorg in Estonian) after his wife, Catherine I. The Baroque palace he had built – along with the surrounding forests, ponds and fountains – are still the neighbourhood’s prime draw. 

Kadriorg & Pirita - Art & Seaside Greenery

Over the next two centuries, the streets near the park became lined with ornate wooden mansions as Kadriorg developed into an upscale residential district. Unsurprisingly, the area also played a role in the early development of Estonia's spa culture – it was here in 1813 that a Doctor Benedikt Georg Witte established what would be the first seaside resort of the Russian Empire. Even today, having a Kadriorg address is a sign of prestigue. The Estonian president’s residence and many foreign embassies are located here.

The park continues to be one of Tallinn's favourite spots for a stroll. It's remarkable for its diverse landscape architecture, which is showcased by the various smaller gardens on the estate, such as the Japanese Garden. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee and fresh pastries in one of the many cosy cafés in the area. 

Culturally-minded visitors should note that Kadriorg is home to the nation’s best art museums, the quaint 1920-30s style houses of many classic Estonian authors and a children’s museum. The Kadriorg Palace itself acts as the showcase for the nation's foreign art collection, while the extensive Kumu, opened in 2006, displays both classical and contemporary Estonian art, and hosts international exhibitions.

Find the best restaurants in Kadriorg

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