Kissing Hill – Tallinn, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

Kissing Hill

This park built on a former fortress has a reputation for romance. 

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It is not clear if this park, also known as Viru Gate Park, is called “kissing hill” because of the two life-sized sculptures of embracing nude couples that now adorn the park or whether the sculptures were commissioned because the park had already established its name.

It is based on an earthwork and two associated (much earlier) gate towers that were incorporated into part of the Bremen Bastion. This was an unfinished part of Tallinn’s defensive infrastructure that was started in 1686 and never completed, but converted to a public park in 1897. It was the last of a series of bastions constructed in Tallinn when the city walls were recognized as being unsuitable to stand up to artillery (several of the ones that were completed are still extant to the North and West of the old town).

The design of the park was by famous Latvian landscape gardener Georg Kuphalt, but the work was carried out by the Tallinn city gardener Hugo Walcher. Walcher’s highly varied planting scheme is still evident in the park but, obviously, the trees are now magnificently matured.

Both of the iconic statues were made by a local artist, Tauno Kangro, in 2007. The standing one is called The Moment Before the Kiss and the kneeling one is The Moment After the Kiss

The northern (modern) retaining wall has alcoves that are occupied by flower sellers, which offer a very colorful sight and an amazing aroma. Underneath the hill, entered by a hole in the western retaining wall, is a lively bar. One of the former gate towers is occupied by a kebab shop.

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March 17, 2023

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