Telliskivi – Tallinn

Today we walked around the area of Tallinn known as Kalamaja. (translates as ‘fish house’ in English). It is an area that once house fishermen and pilots as well as cheap housing for factory workers built by the soviets.


In 1991 the factories were abandoned and left to ruin. But just as areas elsewhere artists and alternative living people moved in to the abandoned housing, it starts to become gentrified and the area becomes trendy!

We saw this in Germany in Berlin. We have seen it in Melbourne, in New York (Williamsburg)

We wondered about the height of where the snow drifts would get to

The houses here are wooden and the new modern versions are the same. I really wouldn’t call them houses they are apartment blocks of no more than 4 stories.

When we got to the ex railway locomotive plant it was a true cacophony of factory buildings along side converted containers and railway carriages.

Railway carriages used to house cafes
Converted container as a coffee shop. Has been clad with wood.
In the grounds

Signposting was interesting as well. Trees and outdoor seating of lots of ways to use packing crates was fascinating.

One use of packing crates
Note the wheels
crates used for seating
Great use of the crates
Two more uses of the crates
The entrance
Artist at work

A building similar to Castlemaine’s old hospital had been converted into designer shops on the ground floor with offices above.

A row of Russian clothes for sale in one shed

It has a flea market there which looked like it has been there forever. It reminded us of the Russian flea market in Beijing which we visited in 1996. This area also had its own  cafe where the the furniture was out of the 50s and middle aged men in their fluorescent vests drank coffee and played chess

Looking down onto the vegetable and fruit market
fruit section of the upmarket market

In another area and quite the opposite to factory area there was  an  upmarket undercover market selling everything from fish to honey as well as fruit and veggies.

Above that was an ‘antique’ market similar in style to Daylesford’s


We enjoyed a delicious lunch at F Hoone which was the first restaurant to be established there in 2010. Interesting that there is no extra signage inviting you in but it was chockers!

Window F Hoone
Kids area F Hoone
I loved the way that these seats could be arranged
Sam chatting up the waitress
The bar at F Hoone
Outside F Hoone where we enjoyed a delicious lunch

There are 11 buildings that have been ‘renovated’ and they continue to work on this.

We saw a great exhibition of photographs telling of some of the people who have lived in the area.

External gallery with the photo exhibition of Annika Metsla ‘Kalamaja in the Air’
‘Juss the little Inventor”
Mait and Ivo. When bullets were shot in Kalamaja Air
The Last Basement Shop in Kalamaja
The gallery

In the Telliskivi  information it states that they began the project in 2007, now there are 250 companies involved in some way through their presence  including architects and design firms.  They hold 600 cultural events a year. We are missing out on the food truck festival as well as the film festival which are happening in June. Read all about it here

In some ways it reminds me of the Mill in Castlemaine.  This one here is on such a bigger scale.  I was in a shop this afternoon talking with the owner and mentioned that we had spent much of the day wandering in that area. She was polite but thought them ‘Bohemians’ So the area is not liked by all.

Looking into the streets with housing
On the wall map
Designer walk
Edge of the whole complex


In the bakery with the delicious cinnamon scrolls made on the premises

On our wander there we found a gorgeous little bakery where we had coffee and a cinnamon  scroll baked on the premises. We needed to go downstairs into the shop. So delicious that on our way home we bought another for tomorrow’s breakfast (if i can keep it out of Sam’s hands before that!)

Wall art

3 thoughts on “Telliskivi – Tallinn”

  1. So interesting to read Pat
    And the photos are great
    I will need to explore further
    What made you decide to go to this part of the world??
    xx Kate

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