Old Soviet submarine base between Virve and Hara Village in Estonia

20 years ago this place was still in use and hundreds of soviet soldiers were doing their "thing" here. Today this huge concrete construction is waiting for its time and is in the hands of nature..

20 years ago this place was still in use and hundreds of soviet soldiers were doing their “thing” here. Today this huge concrete construction is waiting for its time and is in the hands of nature..

The bottom part of this metal ladder has been welded off, like most metal parts that were easy to remove

The bottom part of this metal ladder has been welded off, like most metal parts that were easy to remove

To build this base soviet soldiers tore down tens of kilometers of old stone walls in the nearby villages

To build this base soviet soldiers tore down tens of kilometers of old stone walls in the nearby villages

It is quite safe to dive here as the water is very deep. When we arrived here an older man just finished diving here.

It is quite safe to dive here as the water is very deep. When we arrived here an older man just finished diving here.

Metal costs money! The cables that were under the sea were mainly sold by leaving Russian soldiers and what was left was later taken off by nearby locals

Metal costs money! The cables that were under the sea were mainly sold by leaving Russian soldiers and what was left was later taken off by nearby locals

Strong winds, rain and ice have washed off some of the concrete. Another example showing how poor the Soviet time construction quality was.

Strong winds, rain and ice have washed off some of the concrete. Another example showing how poor the Soviet time construction quality was.

Wonder how many years will it take for the wind, rain and ice to take this building down?

Wonder how many years will it take for the wind, rain and ice to take this building down?

It is not only grass that is growing on this concrete construction, there are already small trees growing on top of some of the buildings

It is not only grass that is growing on this concrete construction, there are already small trees growing on top of some of the buildings

Today the right part of what you see is not connected to the land anymore and I assume part of the construction was made of metal and wood, which was destroyed by the leaving troops

Today the right part of what you see is not connected to the land anymore and I assume part of the construction was made of metal and wood, which was destroyed by the leaving troops

Big concrete blocks on the left side of the base are defending it from big waves. You can clearly see there that water is doing good damage and all that in 17 years assuming it was all holding up well in 1993 when Russians left

Big concrete blocks on the left side of the base are defending it from big waves. You can clearly see there that water is doing good damage and all that in 17 years assuming it was all holding up well in 1993 when Russians left

There is even some paint left on the walls, but not for long

There is even some paint left on the walls, but not for long

Thanks to birds and bad construction quality grass is now growing inside concrete and together with water breaking it slowly

Thanks to birds and bad construction quality grass is now growing inside concrete and together with water breaking it slowly

This old lighthouse

This old lighthouse

Thanks to birds and bad construction quality grass is now growing inside concrete and together with water breaking it slowly

Thanks to birds and bad construction quality grass is now growing inside concrete and together with water breaking it slowly

This small fishing village was less than a kilometer from the base. It is surprising that the Soviet system allowed some people to stay and live here.

This small fishing village was less than a kilometer from the base. It is surprising that the Soviet system allowed some people to stay and live here.

What soviet soldiers did not brake is now in the hands of nature. Strong winds, water and ice are doing their job and one day big part of it will collapse

What soviet soldiers did not brake is now in the hands of nature. Strong winds, water and ice are doing their job and one day big part of it will collapse

All buildings still have the roof, windows and doors were usually kicked in by leaving soldiers who usually left a big mess behind them

All buildings still have the roof, windows and doors were usually kicked in by leaving soldiers who usually left a big mess behind them

Old Soviet Submarine base

Soviet troops are gone now for close to 20 years, but hundreds of different military bases still remind us this dark era

Soviet troops are gone now for close to 20 years, but hundreds of different military bases still remind us this dark era

8 Comments

  1. Alex van Es says:

    Hi!
    Nice to see these pics.. we visited Hara in September 2010… not much change from the pics I see on your website. I hope to return here as well next year. Estonia is a great country and I really enjoy taking pictures there.

    Cheers!

    Alex

  2. Andrus says:

    Thanks Alex,

    If all goes planned I ll be taking a quick look at it in January. I expect it to be a lot different with all the ice around it and snow on the buildings. Stay tuned for more:)

  3. Alex says:

    Hi Andrus,

    I made a short youtube video of the material I shot at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyNXClu6rhk

    Yeah.. should be nice in the snow.. bit scary to walk there maybe..
    Did you ever visit Suurpea or Parispea? Visited those places as well.. they are also very good for taking pictures. Are you Estonian?

    I plan to go back to Hara in 2011 just one more time.. this time armed with a tripod and a better camera :)

    Cheers,
    Alex

  4. Andrus says:

    Great video Alex.

    raised and born right here in Estonia:)

    I have visited suurpea, but not with a camera.

    Also looking to get a new camera (Canon 550 hopefully so I can do some HD video as well).

    If the weather continues to stay as it is, the ice will be quite thick.

    cheers.

  5. Alex says:

    Hey,

    I am from the Netherlands.. Been to Estonia 2 times.. saw quite a bit of your country (Parnu, Saarema, Tallinn, Tartu, Viljandi, Mustvee, Loksa, Rakvere, Narva etc etc)… always have a good time there.. but i like it more in the winter than in the summer. First time was in january… lots of snow hehe..

    I just got a Nikon D90 with 16-85 lens.. when I was there I used a Nikon D5000 but it had serious focus issues so I got rid of it..

    Do you know any more of Hara’s history? I was hoping to find pics of when the place was still in use.. but couldnt find any.. also couldn’t find any for suurpea when the town was still “alive”..

    Ready for the euro yet?

    Alex

  6. Andrus says:

    You have seen quite a bit of Estonia already, but there’s a lot more to see:)

    When it comes to small towns they are like ghost towns during the winter, but when summer arrives – life is back.

    Looks like this winter we are getting even more snow than the last one, so it will get interesting.

    I haven’t seen any soviet time pics of the Hara port, but I ll ask my Virve village relatives when I go there next time. Would really love to take some aerial photos of the place.

    Less than a week for the new currency and I believe most people are ready for it:)

  7. Alex van Es says:

    Hey,
    Did you ever get to go back in january as you planned?
    Cheers,
    Alex

    • Andrus says:

      Hi Alex,

      Did not have the chance, but will go there later this summer again and will post more pics then.

      cheers

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