Kadriorg Palace – Kadriorg Art Museum
Price: € per person
This grand, baroque palace built for Peter the Great in 1718 now houses the Art Museum of Estonia’s foreign collection.
A trip to Tallinn isn’t a trip to Tallinn without a visit to the northern Baroque palace. Designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, the palace and surrounding manicured gardens are a humbling example of Tsarist extravagance.
In its current role as the Kadriorg Art Museum, it displays hundreds of 16th- to 20th-century paintings by Western and Russian artists, as well as prints, sculptures and other works.
While here, don’t miss the decadent, two-storey main hall, with its elaborately painted ceiling and stucco work, or the room used as an office by Estonia’s head of state before the nearby Presidential Palace was built.
Surrounding the Palace are several interesting palace side buildings. For example, the restored kitchen building houses a cosy art museum called the Mikkel Museum, and the humble summer cottage is the Peter I House Museum. The palace governor’s house (the castellan’s house) is now home to the Kastellaanimaja Gallery and the Eduard Vilde House Museum.
More details about this excursion
The Kadriorg Art Museum introduces, preserves and collects early foreign art – primarily western European and Russian paintings, graphic arts, sculpture and applied arts. The museum is located in Kadriorg Park in Tallinn, in a Baroque palace built by Tsar Peter the Great of Russia as a summer residence. Kadriorg Art Museum is the only museum in Estonia devoted to foreign art. Estonia’s largest collection of western European and Russian art (about 9,000 works of art from the 16th to 20th centuries) is located here. The Mikkel Museum houses the collection of paintings, graphic arts and porcelain donated to the museum by the private collector Johannes Mikkel (1907–2006). The Kadriorg Art Museum has an extensive permanent exhibition, which displays the best of its foreign art collection. In addition, there are revolving exhibitions that deal with early European art and its history. The objectives of the Kadriorg Art Museum and its exhibition activities are to introduce the world’s art legacy and the creation of local collections in an international context, as well as to mediate ways of viewing and interpreting early art. Along with exhibitions, the museum’s publications and spring conferences also deal with topical issues of art history. As a competence centre for early art and art history, the Kadriorg Museum has a wide network of international contacts with European museums, restoration centres and scientific institutions. Continuous cooperation also occurs with Estonia’s schools of higher education – many of the museum employees are also faculty members. Seminars, lectures, practical training for students and exhibition presentations are also carried out at the museum. The Education Centre of the Kadriorg Art Museum is called the Palace School and fosters the continuance of European art traditions in Estonia. Every year, more than 1,200 tours at various levels and on various subjects are conducted by the Palace School. The programmes also include hundreds of museum classes for children, dozens of programmes for children and young adults related to the revolving exhibitions, and Saturday Academy lectures. The family events at the Palace School include the Palace Garden Games, Great Painting Saturdays and Late Wednesdays series. Museum guide training and birthday programmes for the old and the young also take place under the auspices of the Palace School. Great added value is provided to the museum by its location in the Kadriorg Palace. Joint events with Kadriorg Park, which expand the museum’s activities into the garden and park, as well as concerts and receptions, are well-suited to the personality of Estonia’s grandest Baroque palace.