The coastal village of Kloogaranna, Harju County, has the largest number of summer cottages (Estonian: Suvila) under heritage protection in Estonia, and almost every property comes with its own unique historical background, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday.
The residential buildings in Kloogaranna, which lies West of Tallinn and close to Paldiski, include a summer house (pictured) which had belonged to tycoon Theodor Kaarmann (1865-1955) and built at the end of the 19th century, have been entered into the register of heritage cultural monuments. The property is a cozy place for the family which has resided in the house over several decades, AK reported.
Matriarch Hannela Kuusk told AK that: "Currently we have four generations living here, the oldest is 95 years old and the youngest is 26."
Agu Veetamm, who researches local summer homes,, says it was the Kaarmann property that sparked off the Kloogaranna holiday home district emerging as such. "Since he had a very large circle of friends, as businessmen tend to, everyone who visited him discovered the pine forest and beach nearby, and so also found opportunities to purchase real estate," Veetamm said.
Although the properties in Kloogaranna, around 50 of them, exhibit different styles, Veetamm says that they all have a common feeling thanks to the seaside and pine forest setting.
One of Kaarmann's neighbors was politician and diplomat Friedrich Akel (1871-1941), who was murdered by occupying Soviet authorities. His house then stood empty for about a decade, before being put to a completely different purpose – namely a campground for the pioneers, the children's organization during the Soviet occupation of Estonia.
The facility was named after the Cuban revolution of the 1950s, which was then ongoing.
A few streets away is Villa Akaatsia, built according to Soviet-era design restrictions, with an area of only 22 square meters.
Of this site, Veetamm said: "The ground area of the cottage was not supposed to be more than 20 square meters, so it was certainly very cramped; there was only a bed for sleeping in, a dry toilet, and a living room," hinting at the wide-range of summer home sizes to be found in Estonia more broadly.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Katre roomets.