Narva residents restoring historically significant places

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Enthusiasts clearing a site of a Great Northern War battle. Source: ERR

The Narva public maintenance month lets citizens choose parts of the city to fix up. Fans are cleaning up the city's historically important places. The former location of the Swedish lion was tended to on Saturday.

Entering Narva, one is currently welcomed by a Soviet pedestal. But entry into the city was much grander 80 years ago when a grand Swedish lion occupied the spot.

The monument was destroyed during the final days of World War II. The lion was turned into scrap metal and the location of the first battle of the Great Northern War is today only designated by a small hill populated by a few rocks Narva residents are now trying to highlight.

"We want to fix up a place that has significance in the history of Narva. We have also hoisted the Estonian and Swedish flags here to remind the people of Narva that history was made here," said Sergei Tsvetkov, head of the maintenance effort.

The former location of the Swedish lion is barely discernible, with the cucumber beds of Narva residents in the background – an apt description of the situation of Swedish legacy in the city.

"Our entire Old Town, 99 percent of what was once one of the finest baroque cities in the world has been destroyed. However, we can say that the Swedish spirit still shines through. The Swedes have restored the lion on the riverbank," said Jaanus Mikk, honorary consul for Sweden in Narva.

The participants of the cleanup effort hope that Narva will procure another Swedish lion in the future that could be erected in its historical location.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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