Originally a fortress, it ended up as a prison during the Soviet era. There is an aura about this place that feels sorrowful.
Imagine the impact arriving at the 1980 Olympics, ready to compete, and being greeted by this. Squat and intimidating in its power, this was the Olympic village. Now part of a spa and hotel complex, it sits at the edge of the Gulf of Finland.
In protest at the invasion of Afghanistan, most of the NATO allies boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. This is one of the first overtly political acts I remember becoming aware of as I grew up, the other being the anti-aparteid protests. The USSR ploughed on regardless, with the sailing taking place just outside Tallinn in Estonia. I find the Soviet take on the Olympic symbol amusing in a cheeky way.