Govt backs plan to renovate, turn Estonian Knighthood House into representative building

  • 2020-02-06
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian government at a sitting on Thursday supported Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab's concept for the future of the Knighthood House in Toompea and will discuss the application for financing the renovation of the building as part of the drawing up of the state budget strategy -- the estimated cost of the renovation is 11 million euros.

"The dignified history of the Estonian Knighthood House obligates us to find solutions for restoring and taking into use this unique cultural asset so that every one of us can be a part of it," Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in a press release.

Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab said that one of Estonia's most representative buildings on Toompea has stood idle for too long. "By renovating and taking the Knighthood House into national use, we not only rescue one of Estonia's most unique buildings currently standing empty, we also place value on the entire history related to this building. I propose that after the reconstruction, this building should be made open to both the people of Estonia and tourists at certain times," he added.

The state wishes to turn the Knighthood House into a representative building of the Republic of Estonia for organizing the representative and press events of the president, Riigikogu, government, ministries and agencies. "At the same time, we also envision that there be excursions held in the building so that anyone interested could have a look at the national representative premises," Aab said. According to the plans, the building would also house the offices of the chancellery of the Riigikogu.

The interior concept for the Knighthood House was developed by the Government Office along with historian Andres Kasekamp and art historian Ants Hein. It envisions remembering the Estonian Knighthood, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Library and the Estonian Art Museum that have all operated in the building at some point. The new design of the Knighthood House seeks to utilize the creations of Estonian designers as much as possible.

The projected budget for the construction and furnishing of the building is around 11 million euros. The financing application will be discussed by the government in the course of drawing up the 2020 state budget strategy. The renovation of the building will take approximately two years.