Siselinna Cemetery (Tallinn, Estonia)

Siselinna Cemetery (Tallinn, Estonia)
The Siselinna Cemetery is a cemetery complex in Tallinn that includes three cemeteries created at different times.

About the cemetery

The Siselinna Cemetery consists of three cemeteries established at different times:
  1. the former Russian Orthodox Cemetery established in 1775, also known as Aleksander Nevski Cemetery;
  2. the Estonian Vana-Kaarli Cemetery opened in 1864 and;
  3. the Military Cemetery established in 1887.

The Aleksander Nevski Cemetery

The biggest among the above-mentioned cemeteries is Aleksander Nevski Cemetery with the area of 13 hectares and it is also the oldest among the cemeteries of Tallinn used today. Tens of thousands of people have found their last resting place at this cemetery over the last 200 years and there are many outstanding figures among those people. 

In 1856, traders of Tallinn, Aleksandr Jermakov and Ivan Germanov had a small church of brick built in the cemetery, dedicated to the Saint Aleksander Nevski, which was then destroyed as a result of bombing by the Soviet Russia on March 9, 1944. Near that place the chapel of red bricks can still be seen today. 

The cemetery was originally located on a hill that extends beyond the church. Most part of it has been in use for the purpose of burying military personnel, therefore the oldest grave marks are of warriors and some of those graves have been marked as historical memorials under public protection.

The Vana-Kaarli Cemetery

The cemetery of Kaarli Congregation, also known as the Vana-Kaarli Cemetery, has been established in 1864 because the Kalamaja Graveyard become too small for the growing number of burials. The cemeteries of Vana-Kaarli and Aleksander Nevski are separated by a high limestone wall. In the northern part of it there is a hole where a wide road runs from one cemetery to another.

There is an archaic atmosphere at the Vana-Kaarli Cemetery and we can see quite remarkable things there like old grave marks that are over hundred years old. On the right side of cemetery's main road we can see a 1,5 metre high monument made of granite with the bust of composer Peeter Süda on top of it. The monument was created in 1927 by teh sculptor Ferdi Sannamees but was destroyed during the World War II. It was then restored in its original form in 1970 according to the plaster models of F. Sannamees. In the beginning of 1990s the bronze bust was stolen and it was replaced by granite one.

The Military Cemetery

The Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinn, also known as the Tallinn Military Cemetery, is situated about 3 kilometres outside the centre of Tallinn. The cemetery was established during the World War I. The oldest graves dates back to 1916 and hold Russian, Estonian, and German soldiers killed during the war.

The graves from 1918 to 1944, the gravestones of the Estonian soldiers, and the monument of the Estonian War of Independence were largely destroyed by the Soviet authorities and the cemetery was taken over by the Red Army for use by the Soviet occupation forces after the World War II. The monument to those fallen in the Estonian War of Independence was then restored in 2012. The registration book of people buried at this cemetery between years 1918 and 1944, with over 1,150 names, is maintained in Tallinn city central archives.

Among other things, the Military Cemetery also contains a headstone which reads "To the Unknown Soldier: 1941–1945" in Estonian and Russian, financed by the Russian Embassy in Estonia and a monument "To those fallen in World War II" - a two-meter bronze statue of a soldier in Red Army uniform with an accompanying stone structure.

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Siselinna Cemetery
3 Toonela Road
Tallinn 10132


Phone: +372 6014064

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9.00 - 16.00