Harju Street Repaving Project Upturns Shopkeepers' Lives, Turns Up Historical Finds ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The complete closure of Harju and Kullassepa streets in Tallinn's Old Town has made life temporarily hard for shopkeepers but is providing some interesting finds for archaeologists.

Eero Heinloo, the archeologist supervising the project in this historically rich area, said the most interesting finds so far are wooden and stone pavement at a depth of two and a half meters.

"Wooden street coverings have not been excavated in Tallinn before. These layers were exposed in three stretches of Harju street, which shows that one of Tallinn's oldest and most arterial streets was once covered by roundwood logs," he said in Õhtuleht.

Heinloo said the wooden surface was three and a half meters in length and that a similar stretch was found in on the corner of the Writers House.

Both the wooden and the stone pavements are from the early to mid 14th century, said Heinloo.

The Freedom Square end of Harju street is currently closed to pedestrians for repaving. The entire street is being repaved with stone parquet. Work is moving toward Town Hall Square in segments, and will last until September 4. When it is complete, the sidewalk and street will be flush and the street will be pedestrian-only.

Eesti Päevaleht reported today that shopkeepers are furious at reportedly not being notified of the extent of the closure during the repaving.

Gloria Viira, sales and marketing director for the Fish & Wine restaurant, said that she learned of the closure through the media. "An inquiry from a neighboring business resulted a notice from the city's public works department that it was a media exaggeration and only [one corner] would be closed."