Pirita district council's proposal to erect a permanent roof on the ruins of Pirita Convent was rejected by the National Heritage Board, ERR reports (link in Estonian).
A permanent roof would allow the historical site in Tallinn to be used more often, the district council said in their proposal to the board. However, the National Heritage Board thought the roof could have negative effects and said that the monastery is protected as a ruin.
Tõnis Liinat, of Pirita district, said the district council respects the decision of the Heritage Board. "The agency has considered the proposal both conceptually and emotionally and has decided not to support the construction of a permanent roof," said Liinat.
According to him, the roof would certainly affect views of ruins, and there are many technical questions for which there are currently no answers.
For the last 15 years Tallinn City Council has allowed a temporary roof and windows to be installed on the monastery ruins during the Birgitta Festival which celebrates musical theater.
Pirita Convent, also known as St. Bridget's Convent, was built in the early 15th century from limestone and timber. The Pirita Convent used to be the largest nunnery in Old Livonia.
The Pirita Convent was destroyed by the Russian army in late January 1575, the Pirita Convent websit says. Until the 1930s a potato field covered the former nuns' quarters and potatoes were stored in the former abbess's residence.
The first systematic excavations started in 1934 and led to remarkable findings. In the early 1960s the excavations shifted to south, focusing on remains on the east side of the monks quarters.
Editor: Helen Wright