Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and and Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) visited the Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison complex in Tallinn, the future of which will soon be discussed by the Estonian government.
It is crucial to repair the complex, which holds great historical and cultural value, instead of letting it fall into disrepair, Ratas said according to a government press release.
"The Government Office is thoroughly considering all proposals for the building complex and we hope to find a solution that takes the interests of the public and the possibilities of the state into account," he said.
According to Ratas, the choice is largely between two options: either leave the registered immovables in the ownership of state real estate company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS), or auction them off. At the same time, he emphasized that even if the complex were to be sold, it would have to remain accessible to and at least partly usable by the public.
According to Aab, the detailed plan for the Patarei complex is almost ready for confirmation, and the only thing left to do right now was discuss and reach a decision regarding the future of the complex.
"Once the building complex is fixed up, it could be used for various purposes, such as accommodation, catering or a recreation establishment," Aab suggested. "My main wish is to see the complex fixed up and remain in public use. If it isn't possible to implement the development in the near future, then the complex needs to be properly conserved and kept in the best possible condition."
Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison, which was completed in 1840, was built on the order of Russian Emperor Nicholas I. Originally intended for use as a sea fortress, the complex was used as a barracks until the collapse of the Russian Empire. From 1920 until 2002, it was used as a prison by various regimes, and the main part of the complex was declared a cultural monument of the Republic of Estonia in May 1997.
The complex, whose ultimate future remains under debate, was closed to the public in October 2016.
Editor: Aili Vahtla