The large “Russalka” Memorial is a bronze monument that was designed and sculpted by Amandus Adamson.
The sculpture on the shore at Kadriorg was erected in 1902, when Tallinn was still a part of the Russian Empire. The sculpture commemorates the 9th-anniversary Russian warship “Russalka,” meaning “Mermaid,” which sank en route to Finland in 1893. A storm hit as the ship traveled from Tallinn across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki, and the sinking took the lives of all 177 crewmen who were on board.
The monument is topped with a figure of an angel holding an Orthodox cross and facing out to sea in what is thought to be the direction of the shipwreck. The angel figure stands atop a granite pillar. The front base of the pillar is shaped like the bow of a large boat.
The pillar is decorated with various relief panels designed to show the sinking of the “Russalka” and other plaques commemorating those who lost their lives.
The area surrounding the monument is paved with granite in a pattern depicting a compass rose.