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Stenbock house

Location: N59° 26` 17.8", E24° 44` 25.4"

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Stenbock house is a neo-classical building located on Toompea Hill, Tallinn. It is the official seat of the Government of Estonia.  

The house was built in 1792, to in order to serve as a courthouse. Unfortunately, the Russian Empire ended giving money for the construction. The state has run low on funds because of the ongoing Russian – Turkish War. As the construction works were supervised by Count Jacob Pontus Sterbock, the province became indebted to Stenbock, and the unfinished building passed into his possession. He made it his residence in Tallinn. That is why the house has such a name. In the 19th century the building was a boarding house of Toomschool's students. It has also belonged to Estonian Knighthood. In 1899, the court started work there. During Soviet times it continued to be used as a courthouse where the cases of criminal, civil and labour law were discussed. On the second floor, there was a department of Art of Tallinn Pedagogical Institute, the wings of the building were turned into flats. The house was heated with briquette, which was stored in the vaulted basement. It was said that the building was in a very bad condition. The workers' offices were small. The clothes of the people, who worked there, smelt by briquette smoke. On very cold days, the judge worked with his coat and gloves on. In 1987, when the ceilings of both courtrooms collapsed, the house remained empty and continued falling apart. In 1996, the restoration works began to turn it into the seat of the Government of the Republic. When the architect and the project manager first entered the house, they saw a moon in the sky while standing in the basement. The first government session in Stenbock House was held on 8 August, 2000. Since then the Open Doors Day is held every year to show visitors the place where the government works.