Sea and song

Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

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  • Theme: Cul¬≠ture, her¬≠itage, music, his¬≠to¬≠ry, nature;
  • Place: Tallinn, with the excep¬≠tion of some sites around the rest of Esto¬≠nia;
  • When:
    • Low: spring or ear¬≠ly autumn;
    • Medi¬≠um: win¬≠ter;
  • Ser¬≠vices offered dur¬≠ing the itin¬≠er¬≠ary:
    • Mul¬≠ti¬≠lin¬≠gual guid¬≠ed tours;
    • Tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al accom¬≠mo¬≠da¬≠tion and food estab¬≠lish¬≠ments;
    • Mul¬≠ti¬≠lin¬≠gual tourism offices for infor¬≠ma¬≠tion¬≠al pur¬≠pos¬≠es;
  • Tar¬≠get: Seniors inter¬≠est¬≠ed in the par¬≠tic¬≠u¬≠lar his¬≠to¬≠ry of Esto¬≠nia and the Baltic region; nature and cul¬≠ture.;
  • Dif¬≠fi¬≠cul¬≠ty: Easy to medi¬≠um;
  • Par¬≠tic¬≠u¬≠lar offers/services dur¬≠ing the itin¬≠er¬≠ary: 
    • Bike rentals;
    • Guid¬≠ed bus tour;
    • Skat¬≠ing, cross-coun¬≠try ski¬≠ing and snow¬≠tub¬≠ing dur¬≠ing win¬≠ter¬≠time;
    • Nat¬≠ur¬≠al sites;
    • Mon¬≠u¬≠ments;
    • Local food and hand¬≠i¬≠craft;
    • Var¬≠i¬≠ous cul¬≠tur¬≠al events;

Description

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 Fes¬≠ti¬≠val is an enor¬≠mous open-air choir con¬≠cert held at the Tallinn Song Fes¬≠ti¬≠val Grounds with the par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pa¬≠tion of hun¬≠dreds of choirs and thou¬≠sands of singers. The num¬≠ber of par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pants in the Song Fes¬≠ti¬≠val can reach up to 25 or 30 thou¬≠sand, but the great¬≠est num¬≠ber of peo¬≠ple is on stage dur¬≠ing the per¬≠for¬≠mance of the joined choirs‚ÄĒthere are usu¬≠al¬≠ly 18 000 singers on stage at that moment, and their pow¬≠er¬≠ful song touch¬≠es even the most frigid Nordic dis¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion.

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 light¬≠ed only dur¬≠ing Song Fes¬≠ti¬≠vals. Nev¬≠er¬≠the¬≠less, the tow¬≠er is open all year round to peo¬≠ple who want to admire the beau¬≠ti¬≠ful 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 Volde¬≠mar Jannsen estab¬≠lished the Eston¬≠ian Song Fes¬≠ti¬≠val while the nation was still a province of the Russ¬≠ian Empire. This fes¬≠ti¬≠val was con¬≠sid¬≠ered respon¬≠si¬≠ble for fos¬≠ter¬≠ing an Eston¬≠ian nation¬≠al awak¬≠en¬≠ing. After that, the new tra¬≠di¬≠tion was born and the fes¬≠ti¬≠vals are still held every five years.

In 1988, Esto¬≠ni¬≠ans gath¬≠ered at the Tallinn Song Fes¬≠ti¬≠val Grounds, to sing patri¬≠ot¬≠ic hymns in what became known as the Singing Rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion that led to the over¬≠throw of Sovi¬≠et 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 Fes¬≠ti¬≠val took place from the 4th to 6th of July 2014 in Tallinn. The total num¬≠ber of per¬≠form¬≠ers was 43 107 and they per¬≠formed before an audi¬≠ence of 153 822! The next Youth Song and Dance Cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion is going to take place from 30 June ‚ÄĒ 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.

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The par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pants will go to the Eston¬≠ian Open Air Muse¬≠um. The Muse¬≠um area pro¬≠vides the expe¬≠ri¬≠ence of an Eston¬≠ian coun¬≠try¬≠man in the 18th and 19th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry, 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 muse¬≠um vis¬≠it, the seniors can take a walk in the nature. The walk can either be tak¬≠en through of Kakum√§e, where the track fol¬≠lows the North¬≠ern- Eston¬≠ian klint and an amaz¬≠ing view of the sea, or on the prom¬≠e¬≠nade towards the Stroo¬≠mi beach.

Day 2 -

On the sec¬≠ond day, the par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pants can vis¬≠it the Tallinn Old Town, a UNESCO world her¬≠itage his¬≠toric site. It is pos¬≠si¬≠ble to take an guid¬≠ed tour through all the impor¬≠tant sites, or a walk or var¬≠i¬≠ous ways of trans¬≠port (cycle-taxis; a tour train) can be tak¬≠en to vis¬≠it them at own accord.  The Tallinn Town Hall square in the cen¬≠ter of the Old Town often hosts fairs and dif¬≠fer¬≠ent events, espe¬≠cial¬≠ly on dif¬≠fer¬≠ent hol¬≠i¬≠days, and is a dis¬≠play of the Hanseat¬≠ic cul¬≠ture and his¬≠to¬≠ry of Esto¬≠nia in and of itself.

The Kiek in the K√∂k muse¬≠um and its bas¬≠tion tun¬≠nels is an video and sound-effect packed jour¬≠ney through the time allow¬≠ing vis¬≠i¬≠tors to not only see the his¬≠tor¬≠i¬≠cal for¬≠ti¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tions of Swedish ori¬≠gins but the his¬≠to¬≠ry from 1219 to 2219, giv¬≠ing 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 vis¬≠it¬≠ing the Sea¬≠plane Har¬≠bour, a big hangar which was used for sea¬≠planes until the Sec¬≠ond World war. The naval themed muse¬≠um intro¬≠duces the tourist to the mar¬≠itime his¬≠to¬≠ry of Esto¬≠nia, both the mil¬≠i¬≠tary and the non-mil¬≠i¬≠tary. Var¬≠i¬≠ous sub-activ¬≠i¬≠ties can be done in the muse¬≠um and it hosts a naval themed hand¬≠i¬≠craft store.rusalka_memorial

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.

 

Contact:

Tedre 45, Tallinn, Esto­nia

http://www.ysbf.org/ ; partners@ysbf.org ; +372 6 726 786

Eero Elenurm, eero.elenurm@ysbf.org, +372 517 8667