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RUSSALKA

Location: N59° 26` 36.1", E24° 47` 38.2"

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Russalka is a memorial created by sculptor Amandus Adamson. A bronze monument erected in 1902 in Kadriorg, at the sea in memory of the crew of Russian warship 'Rusalka' which sank en route to Finland in 1893. The monument depicts an angel standing on a high granite platform holding an Orthodox cross towards the assumed direction of the shipwreck. During the Soviet times the cross was removed and the angel showed the direction with a bare hand.  

Rusalka or a mermaid was a legendary creature in the folk tales and myths of those Slavic peoples who lived near the sea. It was a protector of the souls of unluckily drowned. Although Rusalka protected mainly female souls, the figure became to defend the souls of the crew for ever because seamen liked to put the names of women to their ships. 

The ship 'Rusalka' was a coast defence ship built for the Imperial Russian navy. She served for her entire career with the Baltic fleet since 1867. In a stormy September morning 1893 the Rusalka sailed from Tallinn to Helsinki and disappeared. No trace of the ship was found. Obviously, the bad weather conditions caused the shipwreck. All 178 members of the crew lost their lives. The relatives and friends of shipwreck victims organized a fund-raising campaign which spread all over Russian Empire to establish a memorial. The granite was broughy from Finland, the statue was put into bronze in St. Petersburg and the lanterns were made in Tallinn. 

In 2003 new extensive searches were organized and the wreck was found 110 years later 74 metres deep at the sea bottom, in vertical position 30 metres in the muddy ground. Two years later Canadian film crew made a documentary about the discovery of the Rusalka. It can be watched via Discovery and National Geographic channels.