After World War II, the coastline of Lahemaa became a border zone of the Soviet Union, where various military facilities were built. Even today, the military heritage is strongly felt when moving around Lahemaa. The national park’s coastline covers more than 100 kilometers, and former Soviet border guard stations can be found especially near the tips of the peninsulas that extend far into the sea. True, most of them have now been privatized, and/or they are in such poor condition that safety may not be guaranteed when visiting them. However, two interesting military heritage sites related to Juminda Peninsula can be found in Lahemaa.
The first one is located in Juminda village and recalls the evacuation of Soviet troops from Tallinn at the end of the summer of 1941. During the events known as the Juminda Battle, about 60 ships were sunk, and an estimated 15,000 people lost their lives. The event is commemorated by a memorial stone erected on the beach in Juminda village. In addition, the Maritime Museum has put together an exhibition called “Hell in the Baltic Sea. Juminda Maritime Tragedy 1941,” which is becoming a permanent exhibition in Hara Harbor by the tourist season of 2024 at the latest.
The second remarkable representative of military heritage and a sight in Lahemaa is Hara Harbor. The former submarine and navy demagnetization station offers an exciting sense of place on the southwestern coast of Hara Bay with powerful concrete structures, which has now been developed into a marina with its infrastructure. You can find interesting and detailed reading (in Estonian) about Hara Harbor here.
The largest area where the military heritage is strongly felt by visitors is located on the Pärispea Peninsula – a military base and town in Suurpea village, and a radar hill with its associated facilities near the Purekkari Cape. Due to the poor or very poor condition of the buildings, it is definitely not recommended to enter them. We also draw attention to the private property and signage indicating its protection and respect for it.