ABSTRACT

This chapter takes secular pilgrimage as a point of departure for exploring state politics and for gaining a more profound understanding of the interconnectedness between pilgrimage and politics as well as the processes of sacralization, sterilization and re-sacralization of certain public places of commemoration. It traces the nation-making process in Estonia, which is shaped by politically or ideologically informed decisions and actions. The controversies surrounding the Unknown Soldier in Tallinn can be explored through the movements of the commemorative pilgrims and as a means of place-making. Thus, it allows us to see the other connections which are often overlooked in the analysis of the war of monuments in Tallinn. Visits to the Unknown Soldier monument enable people to traverse distance and time, and reanimate metaphorical relations with their distant or deceased family members and a far-off homeland ac.