Estonia is known for it?s limestone coastline. As sea eats away at limestone shores, it has created a common sight on Estonia?s north coast: high limestone cliffs that fall vertically to the sea. Often the vertical walls look like they?re cut with a knife.
This cliff and lighthouse at Pakri, close to a town called Paldiski some 50 kilometers away from Tallinn, form a quite spectacular place. During soviet times the whole Estonian coastline was strictly off-limits for local residents (you needed a permit even if you lived nearby, if you didn?t, I don?t think you got access at all) let alone tourists. Paldiski was and still is important port and the town had soviet army base.
Nowadays everythink is of course accessible and anyone can roam free in the area. And it?s well worth the drive from Tallinn!
When you drive through the quiet town of Paldiski, you?ll soon see the newer lighthouse towering in the distance. At the lighthouse itself you?ll find a cafe and access to the lighthouse itself. And worth noting: this big one is the “new” lighthouse. Ruins of the old one are righ on the edge of the limestone cliff. Before construction of the bigger lighthouse the Pakri peninsula used to have a smaller lighthouse constructed of local limestone. It was obvious that during decades erosion had eaten away at the cliff and the whole lighthouse was about to crumble down into the sea. So all but the very base of it was torn down.
The base of the old lighthouse still stands on the edge ? but it will eventually fall into the sea as wind and water keep eating away at the soft limestone cliffs. In this photo you can how huge limestone slabs have crumbled down from the wall. The old lighthouse will eventually join the limestone crumbles down below.
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