Sillamäe

 

Sillamäe is a city in Estonia, one of the main industrial centers in Ida-Viru County. Sillamäe is located in northeastern Estonia, in Ida-Virumaa County, on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, at the confluence of the Sytke River, not far from the Estonian-Russian border. The distance from Sillamäe to Tallinn is 186 km, to Narva - 25 km, to St. Petersburg - 170 km. The Tallinn - Narva - St. Petersburg highway passes through the city.

 

History

The first mention of Sillamäe as a settlement where the Tor Bryggen tavern was located dates back to 1502. In 1700 a mill and a good bridge over the river were built here. After joining Russia, the settlement belonged to the Vesenberg district of the Estland province. For some time, the lands of the present city belonged to the possession of Vaivara Manor, from which the Sillamäe half-mine subsequently emerged. It became a completely separate farm in 1849.

Since the end of the 19th century, Sillamäe and nearby Tursamäe have become resort villages popular with the Petersburg intelligentsia. In 1869, the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky rested here. In 1891, the scientist-physiologist Ivan Pavlov came here to rest and went here to rest every summer for 25 years.

In 1898, the Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was built in Sillamäe (destroyed in 1944, restored in 1990).

But industrial life also invaded the resort lands. In 1928, the Estonian Oil Consortium built an oil shale processing plant, a power plant and a small port here with the help of Swedish capital. In 1940, there were 2,600 inhabitants in Sillamäe.

During the Second World War, the plant was destroyed. In 1946, it was decided to establish a large metallurgical plant here for the processing of shale ores in order to obtain uranium oxides. Viktor Russkikh was the chairman of the village council at that time. Initially, the company used local shale ore. Since the 60s, uranium concentrates from Eastern Europe have become the main raw materials. In 1957, Sillamäe received city status. During the Soviet era, a huge number of families from other republics moved to the city. From 1947 to 1991, Sillamäe remained closed (Narva-10, Leningrad-1). After the termination of uranium ore processing in 1990, the plant completely switched to the production of rare earth products.