The Mysterious Linnahall

The following was written roughly four years ago after my first visit to Linnahall.

Slowly decaying on a small section of Tallinn’s coast is Linnahall, an old sports and concert venue built in 1980. The venue was built as part of the Olympics that took place in Moscow in the same year. At this time Estonia was apart of the Soviet Union and as Moscow didn’t have a suitable location to hold the sailing events Tallinn was chosen.

The Mysterious Linnahall
When the venue was completed it was named V. I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport but after Estonia’s independence it was changed to Linnahall.

There was little sign of life and I was the only one walking around. At the entrance there were a few cars parked outside but I had no idea where the owners would have gone. If the offices inside were used I thought to myself  what a miserable place to work.

The Mysterious Linnahall

Who knows when Poseidon saw its last customers. Not much of a night out now.

You can walk fairly freely around the building as long as you can navigate the maze of stairs, many of which still lead to a dead end or locked gate.

What surprised me most about Linnahall was that the building was completed in 1980, and from the looks of things, it was abandoned almost right away. I know 1980 was actually sometime ago and more likely the venue has been used more recently.

The Mysterious Linnahall

It seems like such a waste to leave a large and interesting building to go unused but it happens everywhere, especially when it comes to buildings built for the Olympics. My visit to Linnahall has sparked my interested and I am keen to learn more about the building and what the city has planned for its future.

As with any building left to sink into disrepair, Linnahall has attracted a fair amount of attention from graffiti artists, some of it better than others.

The Mysterious Linnahall

Views of St Olaf’s Church and Tallinn’s medieval old town can be seen as it’s only a short distance away.

From the outside it is difficult to tell what Linnahall is all about. The crumbling and graffitied walls, the locked doors and barred windows, are hiding the secrets of what lies within. Unfortunately, that will have to wait for another time.The Mysterious Linnahall

After five years of visits and photographs I have put together my second zine in my BRUTAL series, this time featuring Linnahall.


Further reading:

My photographic journey into Brutalism continues with:

The Tricorn

It’s too Late to Save Welbeck Street Car Park

Brutal Oxford

Järvenpää Church

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