When most Tallinners think of Pirita, they think of the popular beach, which can get packed with thousands of nearly naked bodies on any sunny weekend. But there’s much more to Pirita than suntan lotion and bare skin.
The region has a history that goes back at least as far as the early 15th century, when the now-famous convent was founded on the banks of the Pirita River in the early 15th century. Pirita stayed fairly rural through the centuries, but after World War II, partitions of land were given out to Estonians to build homes on, and Pirita began to evolve into the residential district it is today. The 1980 Moscow Olympics also had a major impact on the region. When Pirita was to host the yachting events, image-conscience Soviet authorities built the entire coastal Pirita highway, the TV Tower, an extensive beach house and the Olympic Yachting Centre for the occasion.
For visitors though, Pirita’s attraction is still its nature, recreation opportunities, some fascinating historic sights and a couple grand, Soviet relics. This time of year, a trip to Pirita is a must.
Reaching Pirita from the centre is simple. Take bus No 1, 1A, 8, 34A, or 38 from the underground stop at the Viru Centre. For the beach, convent or river area, get off at the Pirita stop, which is the first one after across the river.
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Rising up along the banks of the Pirita River, the spectacular ruins of this 15th-century convent make one of Tallinn's more fascinating historic sights. Founded in 1407 by the Bridgetine Order, the convent was unique in that it housed both monks and