For the first time, the Estonian public will have a chance to enjoy the works of Italian photographer Nicola Bertellotti at an exhibition called The Great Beauty. Through his camera’s lens, the artist examines the aesthetics of decaying and decomposing, the beauty of abandoned and forgotten place, and the phenomenon of termination. Human activity has ceased in the buildings captured in the pictures. There you can no longer hear the joyous shouts of children, people’s conversations or the prayers of the clergy. These are objects created by humans, where no human foot will tread again, and where nature is again taking over.
If one half of the exhibition glorifies the beauty of abandoned buildings and interiors, then the other half is dedicated to the emergence of new life. Spiders, who are the main residents of the abandoned buildings, live in wooden terrarium houses and symbolise a new beginning after the departure of the people.
In order to visit Pärnu’s abandoned buildings, it’s worth taking a guided tour with the Association of Pärnu Tour Guides. Guided tours in Estonian, Finnish, Russian and German are available by prior arrangement at firstname.lastname@example.org
A SUBURB CALLED RIIA (RIGA)
The past and present of Pärnu is comprised of stories, just like our entire history. A stroll from the medieval River Gate takes us to the suburb of Pärnu called Riia (or Riga). On the way, we will tell stories related to the town’s decline, as well as its continued development throughout the ages. Naturally we will also tell about its inhabitants and how momentous events have impacted the fate of ordinary people.
THE BIRTH OF THE RESORT
A favourable location, south-facing bay, and beautiful sandy beach – all helped Pärnu to rapidly develop into a resort town that was already renowned for its beautiful wooden villas and boarding houses in the early 20th century. On this walk, we will talk about how the fortified town turned into a modern resort. We will take a look at not only the most important modern spa hotels but also discover the locations of structures that have been forgotten by history or even disappeared from the map.
A FORTRESS TOWN
Through the ages, Pärnu has been protected by both a stone wall and earthwork fortifications. During the walk, we will search for traces of the former fortifications and discover how they have impacted today’s urban scene.
PÄRNU’S LOST TRADE
After years of hard work, the merchant named Johann Andrekson could proudly advertise his new department store in the heart of Pärnu: “I announce to my esteemed customers that, as of Saturday, October 1st, my fabric, clothing, footwear and leather goods store will be located in its own building at 4 Vee Street”.
During the walk in the town centre, we will talk about trading then and now. We will explore what became of merchant Andrekson, and also stores and companies that existed in Pärnu in the past – some of which have survived unchanged, and others that disappeared into the depths of history.
Be sure to bring along a cheerful mood and a boundless sense of imagination!