Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tallin, Estonia

The Kadriorg Palace

Built by Tsar Peter I in 1718 for his wife Catherine (Kadriorg means Catherine's Valley).  This wonderful baroque confection was designed by the Italian architect Michetti and is said to have been inspired by Italian villas.  My sender tells me that "after Peter's death in 1725 the place fell to bad times (even if the palace of the tsar stood there, the locals were afraid to visit).  But a century later the Russian royals started to use the palace during the summers and the situation changed"

The Palace sits in 247 acres of gardens and woodlands and now houses the Art Museum of Estonia's collection of foreign paintings from Russia and Western Europe. I could find no list of what they have there, in fact the museum site is well out of date, but I did find at the In Your Pocket guide that there are two exhibitions on at the moment, Baltic Biedermeier (works by early 19th century Baltic Germans) and one of the German Impressionists.  The handy comment posted on the site said, don't go on a Monday, because all the museums in Tallin are closed.  (Having had that 'closed Monday' experience recently in the UK when visiting the Tate in Liverpool, or to be accurate, not visiting The Tate, that is useful advice).  The palace is 2km east of the centre of Tallin on both a bus and tram route.  I would love to visit the Estonia and there is a handy little map on the back of the postcard of the states surrounding the Baltic Sea, I could plot my journey.

The card came with a wonderful selection of stamps:
The first, from left to right,  is a Liverleaf (Hepatica nobilis) issued in May 2006. Estonia issues a special flower stamp every year.
Next, the issue of January 1995 celebrating the Matsalu Wetland Reserve on the west coast of Estonia, an area of floodplains, meadows, reed-beds, woods and 56 islands. It is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and migratory birds use it as a stopping off point, 2 million waterfowl pass over ever spring.  A birdwatchers paradise with 282 bird species.  This particular stamp shows Greylag geese (Anser anser).  I love to watch the V shape of geese flying over our estuary, calling to each other.
Lastly the Church of St John the Baptist, Kanepi, issued in October 2007. The church was established in 1675 and the present building was built from 1804-08 and holds 1,000 people. The stamp designer was Riho Luuse.

This card travelled for 5days and 1,113 miles (1,792km).
Thank you Jalutaja.


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