Song Celebration Grounds
While the first song celebration took place in Tartu (1869), the growing interest and popularity meant that the festival soon needed a place to call its own. From 1928 onwards the home of the much-loved festival has been the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in the midst of the scenic pine grove on the coast of Tallinn. The current stage – the unique “seashell” arch was built in 1960 and was used as a model for the Soung Festival Grounds for Riga and Vilnius. The designers took into account the nature of the land the stage is going 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. Up to 34 000 singers have sung under the song arch, which was constructed for 15 000 singers and in front of it around 300 000 people (a third of the population of Estonia!) have stood side by side to sing. The Song Festival Grounds are a symbol of freedom and holds a special place in Estonian’s hearts.
The Grand Hall of the Russian Theatre
The Russian Theatre, located by the Freedom square in Tallinn, is regarded as one of Scandinavia’s most beautiful theatres. The theatre is the only professional Russian theatre in the country and the keeper of Russian thespian traditions in Estonia. It was constructed 1926 in the luxurious Art Deco style; the building, which was designed to be a cinema, housed the premier cinema of the First Republic, the Gloria Palace. During the season of 2004/2006, the Russian Theater had undergone a general reconstruction, resulting in restoration of the historical image of the building’s interiors. At the same time, the theatre was turned into one of the most technically perfect theater venues.