Jüriöö Park was founded in the highest region of Tallinn, on the ridge of Sõjamäe (War Hill), 55 metres above sea level. The name of the region by itself refers to the bloody historical events that once took place in this area.
Renner – Hoeneke Chronicle Specifies: On 14 May 1343, a decisive battle was fought on the grounds of the now Jüriöö Park between the mail‑clad knights of the master of the Livonian order, Von Dreileben, and the Estonian troops. Although this battle took the lives of 3,000 Estonians.
All these views were very clearly reflected in the 1930ies decision to plant an oak grove on the War Hill
Architect Joh. Ostrat’s design won the design contest announced by the War Hill Decoration Committee formed for founding the grove, and the general layout of the War Hill Grove based on Ostrat’s design was officially approved in March 1936. In May 1936, the first officially dedicated oak trees were planted in the War Hill Grove; a year later, there were already 22 of them.
Among other distinguished governmental and public officials dedicated oaks were also planted for the Head of State, Konstantin Päts, Commander-in-Chief, Johan Laidoner, the former Head of State, Jaan Tõnisson, etc.
In the 1950ies, a lot of non‑descript industrial buildings were erected in the vicinity of the War Hill. The new Leningrad Road was designed so that it cut through the originally planned grove. According to an article in „Õhtuleht” from 24 October 1960, there was only one 5‑metre oak left on the War Hill by that stage.
The domestic history research club of Tallinn City Museum started to fix this dismal situation in the second half of the 1960ies. The initiator of the project was Karl Laane, a merited domestic history researcher, working on the planting team at the time.
The cleaning of the territory alone required a lot of hard work. Planting trees on the limestone surface was even more complicated. Besides, the planted trees needed constant care.
The domestic history researchers not only created a small park on the War Hill, but also deferred the plans for industrial expansion.
During the years of the Soviet occupation, even most people in Tallinn did not know to link the War Hill by the St. Petersburg Road with the historical Jüriöö uprising.
In today’s Jüriöö Park there are memorials to celebrate and commemorate the most important stages in the history of our country. A sword struck halfway into the ground symbolizes the Jüriöö uprising, and there is also a memorial stone to the Fighters in the Estonian War of Independence, and a monument to All Estonians in World War II.
The following events have become traditional in Jüriöö Park:
Anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty on 2 February
Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on 24 February
Jüripäev on 23 April
Victory Day on 24 June
Commemoration of ancestors, heroes and the New Year’s Eve on 31 December
Following the plans laid out during the first Republic, the tradition of planting oaks has also been re-established in addition to other festivities and plans are made to restart army parades in Jüriöö Park.