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Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, located on the Gulf of Finland, has a complicated history due to its proximity to Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The Tallinn passenger port has contributed to the rapid growth of tourism in Tallinn. Tallinn's major attractions are accessible by foot, especially the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The walls and towers of Medieval Old Town are intact. The Fat Margaret cannon tower now houses the Estonian Maritime Museum.

Tallinn's Old Town is the most intact medieval city in Europe, retaining its original street layout and most of the buildings in their original state.
 

A viewpoint at Kohtuotsa offers a sweeping panorama of Tallinn's rooftops. The gothic spire of St. Olaf's Church was the tallest building in Europe in the late 1500s.

Anchored by the old Town Hall, the town hall square has been a marketplace, a festival site, and the hub of the city for 700 years.

The barbican  of Viru Gate was part of Tallinn's defensive wall system built in the 14th Century.

 

Outside the walls of Old Town, a thoroughly modern city, listed among the top ten digital cities in the world, boasts a high tech sector.

At the "sweater market," stalls are set up along the city walls to sell knitwear.

Servers at the sidewalk cafes wear traditional dress.

Flower vendors prepare and sell beautiful bouquets.

 

St.Catherine's Lane houses 15th to 17th century workshops where local artisans continue the tradition of open galleries where viewers can observe glass-blowing, weaving or pottery making.
 

A physical and symbolic wall separates the lower town, All-lin, from the Upper Town, Toompea. Along the wall artists display their wares.

The upper town was a separate fortified area which has always been the seat of whatever power ruled Estonia. Stenbock House is the seat of the government. 

 

Sitting atop Toompea Hill, the richly decorated Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral was constructed in the 1890's when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire, and for some Estonians is a symbol of Russian oppression.

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This site was last updated 03/27/22