Charles Leroux Memorial – Tallinn, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

Charles Leroux Memorial

Dedicated to the untimely death of American balloonist and parachutist.  


This contemporary statue on the shores just north of Tallinn commemorates the death of American balloonist and parachutist Charles Leroux. Leroux died after landing in the bay of Reval, Tallinn, during his 239th parachute jump (from a balloon filled with lighting gas). Having already canceled his jump once due to the weather, after arguments with his manager, he took the risk to make the jump in high winds which carried him out over the bay where he drowned. He died in 1889 and was buried in Kopli cemetery just outside the old town of Tallinn. 

Until 1950, Leroux had an impressive stone memorial in the cemetery, but after World War II, the Soviets flattened the cemetery removing all traces of the grave markers. The site was later converted into a public park.

The current memorial was designed by Mati Karmin in steel tubing that resembles a canopy and shrouds of a parachute.

Know Before You Go

If travelling by bus from Tallinn to the Teletorn tower (bus 34) you will pass the monument as you proceed along the bay.

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November 14, 2022

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