Our story and thoughts
Utoopia No. 9 is a foundation that aims to create a brand new environment at the Kõrgessaare artificial silk factory to offer a new venue for a variety of cultural events. Cultural events are further divided into musical, cinema, theatrical, art, sport or educational events that can be short or long-term, or even permanent. There will also be space for the UNESCO Western Estonia islands biosphere region guest centre as well as an exhibition. When talking about creating an environment, we are referring to the reconstruction of the compound, renovation of the buildings, construction of infrastructure and parking facilities, as well as making the area user-friendly for organisers and guests alike. The compound has approximately 10,000 sq. m of indoor area that will be provided with the necessary quantity of electricity, water, toilets, pop-up cafes in addition to other equipment, such as sound and light equipment necessary for events. NGO Viscosa Kultuuritehas will be in charge of planning and organising events.
Talking about the history of this part of Hiiumaa, Kõrgessaare was first mentioned in 1532. Not much time had passed until a small manor was built and then gradually expanded.
1624. A harbour was built in 1624, and before long a regular maritime link with Sweden was established In the ensuing centuries, the manor had frequently changed owners. Historians claim that the grand building was owned by families such as De la Gardie, Stenbock, Ungern-Stenberg, Stackelberg, and Bodarevskaja.
In 1912, the Saint-Petersburg-based company AS Viscosa bought a part of the manor’s land. The company built an artificial silk factory, based on funding from Belgium, France, and England. However, times were tough. Only one trial batch had been produced before the First World War began.
Though the factory building stood silent in the following decades, the name Viscosa started to live its own life. Despite maps of the village still officially naming the area Kõrgessaare, the coastal area was now known as Viskoosa among the locals.
1952. A fish factory was established on the grounds of the old artificial silk factory in 1952, which in 1984 became a canning factory for the collective fishing farm “Hiiu Kalur”. In its golden age, the fish factory employed several hundred people. The first product made by the factory were the “Tallinn sprats”. The first batch of canned food was ready on 17 June 1961. . juunil. These were cans of fried Baltic herring in tomato sauce. Thanks to the tireless work of the employees, people were able to enjoy eel, mackerel, pike, bream, ide, scad, and other canned fish. Not to mention sprats!
The southwestern wing of the U-shaped compound was the Kõrgessaare workshop of the Tallinn Meat and Canning Factory, which was in operation until the early 1990s.
Grand plans were made, for example, to open a kefir spa but the plans have not progressed beyond initial demolition stages.
To conclude this, it is possible to say that the factory is a true industrial pearl that blends well with the surrounding environment. The more you know about the factory, the more questions you will have. One thing is clear – this is where our story begins.
VISCOSA KULTUURITEHAS MTÜ
Tööstuse tee 19, 92201 Kõrgessaare alevik, Hiiumaa vald