Järva-Jaani vanatehnika varjupaik
All I knew about the Järva-Jaani vanatehnika varjupaik (classic car museum) was that there would be a small police car at the entrance. If you lift its hood, you will find a cash box where you deposit three Euros that makes the signal lights start flashing. This is the entry to an open field museum of Soviet-era vehicles that once traversed the Estonian countryside.
Soviet-era Vehicles in Estonia
Hundreds of cars and trucks, even some Moskvitch, Lada, GAZ trucks, and Ikarus buses are lined up in a vehicle graveyard of sorts where visitors can wander among these rusted machines and even climb inside some.
Located in Järva-Jaani (about an hour outside of Tallinn), this outdoor collection was assembled to preserve these cars that traveled the roads of Estonia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
Soviet Vehicle Museum
Finding this outdoor museum was not as easy as you’d think it might be, seeing as it’s a field of rusty vehicles. But the roads are not well-marked and unless you speak Estonian, you won’t know how to ask for help. Our GPS kept taking us to a barn-like structure that had a museum sign outside, but obviously wasn’t what we were looking for. They weren’t open, either. We later discerned that there might have been an indoor exhibition related to the outdoor museum, but in the moment, we were too busy trying to figure out where the field full of vehicles was. So we drove around, and finally approached it from a dirt road running behind it.
No matter how you get there, leaving the bustle of Tallinn to drive to a small Estonian village where a field of old, rusty cars, trucks and buses is a unique excursion. I was glad to get a glimpse of this off-the-beaten path museum.
Is this a museum you’d like to visit?
73301 Järva-Jaani ,51