Bird watching paradise

Paljassaare observation tower, photo: Tallinn Environment Department
Only a century ago, the small Karli Islands were where Paljassaare is now. The Karli islands (later, the entire peninsula) were used for military purposes until the end of the Soviet occupation. The first military fortifications were built on Väike-Karli island as early as 1727. In 1824, the artillery tower – the so-called White Tower – was built. Today, only ruins of it can be seen.

In 1912, the construction works of the battery for Peter the Great’s Naval Fortress began in Paljassaare. The area between the mainland and islands was filled with material collected during the construction of the Mine Harbour. Russian tsar Nikolai II personally laid the first stone of the construction. The work ended in 1917 and resulted in Paljassaare peninsula. Battery No. 12 was located on Suur-Paljassaare, which was connected to the harbour quay on Väike-Paljassaare by railway.

Although the naval fortress was never finished, the remains of the battery, the embankment of the railway and the Katariina Quay can be seen today. 500 meters of the originally planned 2.5 km mole were built. Now, about 300 meters has remained. There is also a narrow-gauge railway, built between 1925–1926. Katariina Quay offers beautiful views of the city of Tallinn.