Location of Paldiski in Harju County
|• Total||34 km2 (13 sq mi)|
|Population (January 2010)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Paldiski is a town and Baltic Sea port situated on the Pakri peninsula of north-western Estonia. Originally a Swedish settlement known as Rågervik, it became a Russian naval base in the 18th century. The Russians renamed it Балтийский Порт ("Baltiyskiy Port", i.e. Baltic Port, German: Baltisch-Port) in 1762. In Estonian the name was spelled Baltiski until 1933 when the Estonian pronunciation Paldiski became the official name.
In 1962, Paldiski became a Soviet Navy nuclear submarine training centre. With two land-based nuclear reactors, and employing some 16,000 people, it was the largest such facility in the Soviet Union. Because of its importance, the whole city was closed off with barbed wire until the last Russian warship left in August 1994. Russia relinquished control of the nuclear reactor facilities in September 1995.
After Estonia restored its independence, the city had not enough Estonian citizens and Paldiski was subordinated to Keila until 30 October 1996. Located some 45 km west of Tallinn, Paldiski is a municipality within Harju County and has a regular ferry connection with Kapellskär in Sweden (operated by Tallink). Derelict Soviet-style apartment buildings make up much of the town, and the relics of military bases are widespread. The majority of its residents are ethnic Russians.
Today the town has about 4300 inhabitants. Until recently, the amenities were limited to a single, small hotel (Valge Laev, with six guest bedrooms and a restaurant/bar) . Now there are also two grocery stores, an alcohol store, a bank, a tavern, and a bed & breakfast. The renovated train station also has a small cafe with hot food.
A great deal of investment has been put into the two ports and their facilities with a number of new berths having been created. From Paldiski Southern Port Transfennica run a number of ships into the port from Hanko (Finland) and Lübeck (Germany). From Paldiski Northern Port DFDS run 6 roundtrip operation to Kapellskär (Sweden) for passengers and Cargo and Navirail an operation to and from Hanko (Finland).
Pakri wind farm is located in Paldiski at the tip of the Pakri peninsula near the old light house. It consists of 8 wind turbines of type Nordex N-90 and generates 18.4 MW of clean electricity.
The old Soviet 'Pentagon' building has been demolished at some point between 2006 and 2009 to make way for a large and modern logistics park. .
The housing blocks in the town no longer appear dilapidated and abandoned and have been refitted and re-painted in recent years. There are also several new housing apartment buildings, plus the green areas and children's parks have been restored.
Paldiski has a terminus station on the Elron rail line, providing a convenient link to the capital city. As part of the town's redevelopment this once near-derelict station has been overhauled and painted in bright yellow and white colours.
Paldiski has two schools: Paldiski Gümnaasium and Vene Gümnaasium (Russian Gymnasium).
There are several churches in town. The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church is dedicated to St Nicholas. Although closed for some years, this church has now reopened, with services held every Sunday lunchtime. There are also a Pentecostal church, Methodist Church and an Orthodox church.
The Scouts Single Infantry Battalion, Kalevi Infantry Battalion and the Combat Service Support Battalion (Estonia) which belong to the 1st Infantry Brigade (Estonia) of the Estonian Defence Forces are stationed in Paldsiki.
- Amandus Adamson (1855–1929), Estonian sculptor and painter; lived and worked in Paldiski
- Salawat Yulayev (1754–1800), Bashkir national hero
- "About Paldiski". Paldiski Linn. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Estonian Govt Lays Hopes on Paldiski LNG Terminal, Downstream Today, March 19, 2013, retrieved 2013-03-22
- "Pakri wind farm". 4Energia. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Service and contact details from the Estonian Lutheran Church's national website.
- Urbanik, Helen (2002-11-28). "Moodysson avastas Eestist head vene näitlejad". Eesti Ekspress (in Estonian). Retrieved 29 August 2009.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Paldiski.|