On Tuesday, the €7 million renovation project at the Narva Town Hall building started.
As a result of the renovation, the mostly empty town hall building will be made into a representative building and a tourism center with the square in front also getting a new look, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday.
First, construction will remove Soviet-era coats from the building's walls.
In a year and a half, Narva city government will move to the building's second and third floors, the city council will get new rooms and the mayor will get a cabinet. A tourism information center will be opened on the ground floor and a restaurant will be opened in the town hall's basement.
The main aim of the project is enlivening the city's old town area. "It will certainly receive its initial function back. A majority of the city's leadership will move here, political leadership and other rooms and then rooms with entertainment value: restaurants, tourism information, exhibition halls etc. Those will also give the building some value," said Narva city heritage protection inspector Madis Tuuder.
"It will also be open to regular visitors - both city residents and guests. Perhaps it will also attract entrepreneurs to the area, as well, maybe it will bring some additional private sector investments," Tuuder added.
Narva's Town Hall dates back to the 17th century and was built at a time when Estonia was under Swedish rule. The architectural complex within Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats) included the town hall itself, as well as the stock exchange, and residences of wealthy Swedish citizenry of the time.
Unfortunately, only the Town Hall has survived from this era as other buildings were destroyed in World War II when Narva was the scene of fierce fighting. The hall has lain virtually empty for 20 years, since it was last used as a children's creative house.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste