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This vast park surrounding Kadriorg Palace is without a doubt the best place in town for relaxed strolling, pigeon feeding and life pondering.
It was set up in 1718 as part of the palace estate, but has always been open to the public.
In spring and summer visitors can see beautiful, manicured gardens and flowerbeds here, but most of the park has retained the look of the natural landscape, with meadows and forest groves.
A good spot for starting a Kadriorg tour is the rectangular Swan Pond on Weizenbergi street, with its fountain, gazebo and birds. An uphill stroll from here leads past flower beds to another fountain area, closer to the Kumu art museum.
Nearby the Swan Pond are several of the palace's auxiliary buildings, some of which house cafés and museums. Opposite the palace gates is a small guard house, a kitchen building and an ice cellar. The kitchen building is home to the Mikkli Museum, which displays an impressive collection of imported art.
In 2011, Kadriorg Park received a truly wonderful addition in form of the Japanese garden designed by Japan's renowned landscape designer Masao Sone. The natural landscape of the northeast corner of the park, with its tall trees and heavy rocks, is well suited for it. The plants were chosen specifically to suit Estonia's colder climate. In spring, cherry trees and rhododendrons blossom; in summer, the garden is filled with irises and orrises; while autumn, with its seasonal change, brings reds, oranges, yellows and browns. It is the largest public, rhododendron garden in the region.
Rocks play an important part in the garden. Mr. Sone fell in love with the Tallinn's cobblestone Old Town and this influence is clearly visible.
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