I didn’t have a camera with me but I was surprised at their impressiveness. From afar, they looked like old gas storage vessels (like in Suvilahti, Helsinki), but they really were dome-shaped seaplane hangars. Luckily Flickr has at least some photo as well as Panoramio here. The museum has home pages here.
I picked the wrong day to go there as it seems all of Tallinn’s museums are closed on mondays and tuesdays (The Kumu art museum was one potential destination too), but I couldn’t really choose the day anyway at that point. I could still tour the stuff that was outside. There was a lot of construction and renovation work going on. The domes were full of scaffolding for builders. Actually that would have provided for a really good photo opportunity since it divided the volume into cubes as a great visualization of the size of the thing, together with people for scale. The top was being sandblasted and you could see the rebar from many places. This is not a cheap project and will be ready by 2011.
They are not super-huge though. No Saro Princess could fit in them. They were built in 1916 and 1917 after all! I could also see the old first independence battle’s ice breaker Suur Tõll and the Lembit submarine, as well as an array of patrol boats donated by various countries to the young Estonian defence force in the nineties.
I will write other things inspired by the trip in other posts, there was certainly a large amount of thoughts that arose and observations that were made.