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A harbour for grandpa’s 100th birthday

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In 2012, Hannes and Heigo – today’s owners of Purtse Harbour and the descendants of local coastal fishermen – had the idea of building a holiday centre on the west bank of the river (replacing the former border tower) to tell the story of bootlegging in Estonia. The centre would include a hotel and bootlegging museum as well as a landing place for storing boats. Taking the concept further, it was decided to build a decent harbour instead of just a landing place and thus to put Purtse back on maritime maps.

Their grandfather, coastal fisherman Mihkel Lullu (1915-1976), played a major role in this. When studying their family history, the men found photographs in which their grandfather was repairing a sea rescue boat in what is today the harbour. Having hesitated before in regard to constructing the facility, they were now sure of their decision – Purtse would once again have a harbour! Exegi monumentum!

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Grandfather repairing a sea resque boat.

Preparations for construction began in 2014. Building work itself started in March 2015, with the harbour completed six months later. The first moorage had taken place on 11 June – grandpa Mihkel’s 100th birthday. It seems that both grandpa and Neptune liked the idea of building the harbour, since the work was completed even earlier (and went even better) than expected!

During construction work, the aquatic area and fairway were dredged to a depth of 2.5 m, navigational aids and a buoy were installed and a port facility was set up. Enterprise Estonia was one of the sponsors of construction. The harbour meets all visitor harbour requirements, offering a full range of services to sailors.

Once again, Purtse has become Ida-Viru County’s gateway to the sea!

EXPERIENCES STRONGER THAN ANY PROHIBITION