A €2.4-million complex, which doubles up as a museum and boat-building facility, has opened in Tartu, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday night.
The Lodjakoja complex is managed by the Emajõgi barge society (Emajõe lodjaselts), which hopes to both present traditional boat-building work and to stimulate river traffic on the Emajõgi River, Estonia's only fully navigable river, on which Tartu lies.
A new, two-mast vessel is already being built in the complex, with the aim for completion by 2024, the year Tartu becomes European Capital of Culture.
In addition to the museum and boat-building hall, the complex boasts a lifeguard station and winter boathouses.
"In the future, the main building will house this type of traditional shipbuilding center, with a blacksmith's workshop, a wood workshop, exhibition room, seminars, a cafe … in short, a very versatile center, with year-round activities," Raimond Tamm, Deputy Mayor of Tartu, told AK.
The Emajõgi barge company has signed a 10-year lease agreement with the City of Tartu; the facility ends a search for proper barge facilities going back to 2006.
The organization's head Priit Jagomäe, the head of the Lodjaselts said that this process had been blocked twice before in the courts, but now the facility was a reality, he was looking forward to visitors, who can get a glimpse of more traditional boat-building methods.
The center opens to the public in October.
The Emajõgi, more properly the Suur Emajõgi, flows between two lakes, from Võrtsjärv, flowing eastwards through Tartu to Peipsi Järv, where it discharges.
Editor: Andrew Whyte