Sea and song
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
- Theme: Culture, heritage, music, history, nature;
- Place: Tallinn, with the exception of some sites around the rest of Estonia;
- Low: spring or early autumn;
- Medium: winter;
- Services offered during the itinerary:
- Multilingual guided tours;
- Traditional accommodation and food establishments;
- Multilingual tourism offices for informational purposes;
- Target: Seniors interested in the particular history of Estonia and the Baltic region; nature and culture.;
- Difficulty: Easy to medium;
- Particular offers/services during the itinerary:
- Bike rentals;
- Guided bus tour;
- Skating, cross-country skiing and snowtubing during wintertime;
- Natural sites;
- Local food and handicraft;
- Various cultural events;
Completed in 1960, Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds were the first modern post-war construction to be built in the city. Unique in Europe, they were designed by Alar Kotli, Henno Sepmann and Uno Tölpus. Their design took into account the nature of the land they were to be built on: audiences would be seated on the slope of the hill, so the song arch would need to echo sound to them. A copy of the song stage was later erected in Vilnius.
The Song Festival Grounds are a popular venue for events. It is best known as the place where every 5 years the Song Festival is held, in which nearly 25,000 singers take part, attracting an audience of nearly 100,000.
The Song Festival is an enormous open-air choir concert held at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds with the participation of hundreds of choirs and thousands of singers. The number of participants in the Song Festival can reach up to 25 or 30 thousand, but the greatest number of people is on stage during the performance of the joined choirs—there are usually 18 000 singers on stage at that moment, and their powerful song touches even the most frigid Nordic disposition.
Not every choir in Estonia is able to perform at the Song Festival. Due to the popularity of the festival, there is stiff competition among the choirs,
The Light House next to the arch is 42 m high and the torch on top of it is lighted only during Song Festivals. Nevertheless, the tower is open all year round to people who want to admire the beautiful view.
At the top of the hill you will also see a large golden sculpture of Gustav Ernesaks, the famous conductor who also played a big role in the Singing Revolution.
In 1869 Johann Voldemar Jannsen established the Estonian Song Festival while the nation was still a province of the Russian Empire. This festival was considered responsible for fostering an Estonian national awakening. After that, the new tradition was born and the festivals are still held every five years.
In 1988, Estonians gathered at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, to sing patriotic hymns in what became known as the Singing Revolution that led to the overthrow of Soviet rule.
In November 2003, UNESCO declared Estonia’s Song and Dance Festival tradition a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The 26th Song and Dance Festival took place from the 4th to 6th of July 2014 in Tallinn. The total number of performers was 43 107 and they performed before an audience of 153 822! The next Youth Song and Dance Celebration is going to take place from 30 June — 2 July 2017.
Today, Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds are also used for hosting international acts, such as Iron Maiden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, 50 Cent, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Andrea Bocelli, Madonna, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Lady Gaga, Green Day, José Carreras, Robbie Williams and the contemporary dance music event, the Sundance Festival.
Day 1 -
Upon arrival, the participants will be introduced to the Forever Young Project, are given all the information about how to use the applications and are introduced to the itinerary.
The participants will go to the Estonian Open Air Museum. The Museum area provides the experience of an Estonian countryman in the 18th and 19th century, so the tourist can see and try things and live into the era.
The exhibits change through seasons and a variety of events are hosted at the site, so it is possible to get a different experience at different times of visit. The site also hosts local handicraft shops and traditional gastronomy and hosts Folklore groups at the museum at weekends during the summer.
After the museum visit, the seniors can take a walk in the nature. The walk can either be taken through of Kakumäe, where the track follows the Northern- Estonian klint and an amazing view of the sea, or on the promenade towards the Stroomi beach.
Day 2 -
On the second day, the participants can visit the Tallinn Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage historic site. It is possible to take an guided tour through all the important sites, or a walk or various ways of transport (cycle-taxis; a tour train) can be taken to visit them at own accord. The Tallinn Town Hall square in the center of the Old Town often hosts fairs and different events, especially on different holidays, and is a display of the Hanseatic culture and history of Estonia in and of itself.
The Kiek in the Kök museum and its bastion tunnels is an video and sound-effect packed journey through the time allowing visitors to not only see the historical fortifications of Swedish origins but the history from 1219 to 2219, giving glimpses of what is to come too.
The various churches around the Old Town can be entered and explored at most times. The Old town is filled with handicraft stores and restaurants offering traditional foods, providing a wide choice for the tourists.
Day 3 -
The third day will start off by visiting the Seaplane Harbour, a big hangar which was used for seaplanes until the Second World war. The naval themed museum introduces the tourist to the maritime history of Estonia, both the military and the non-military. Various sub-activities can be done in the museum and it hosts a naval themed handicraft store.
After the museum visit, the tourists will take a transport of their choosing near Pirita road. A walk on the promenade can be taken with a view on the sea and the Tallinn Harbour. The Russalka memorial can be visited on the promenade, a memorial to a sunken Russian warship.
The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is right next to the promenade. It is an area designated to accommodate a public of a bout a quarter of a million and a choir of up to 30 thousand singers at a time, the site for the biggest event in Estonia, the Song and Dance Festival, hosted in its full size every five years and in various smaller alterations yearly. Other events are often hosted at the site, but if not then a 42 lighthouse can be visited, allowing an awesome view of both the sea and Tallinn itself.
Tedre 45, Tallinn, Estonia
http://www.ysbf.org/ ; email@example.com ; +372 6 726 786
Eero Elenurm, firstname.lastname@example.org, +372 517 8667