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EXPLORING TALLINN

TALLINN IS...

  • ...the capital of Estonia, with over 500 000 Estonians living there. That's more than 1/3 of our population!

  • ...ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world.

  • ...surrounded by Lake Ülemiste, which was supposedly born out of Linda's tears after our mythological folk hero Kaleva died. Lake Ülemiste is also Tallinn's main water supply.

  • ...full of restaurants, bars and cafes with a selection for everyone. For a great dining experience, check out the Visit Tallinn Eat & Drink section.

  • ...on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list with its Medieval Old Town. It is one of the best preserved Hanseatic town centres in the world and definitely worth to check out.

  • ...as much modern as it is historic. Tallinn combines its modern and fast-paced city centre with relaxing cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture.

For more info about what to see and do in Tallinn, check out:

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Kaarli Church on Toompea

Tallinn's grandest 19th-century church sets itself apart with its twin steeples, immense size and neo-Roman style.

 

It was built from 1862 to 1882 as a long overdue replacement for the original Kaarli Church, founded in 1670 on the order of Sweden's King Charles XI. Like many wooden structures located outside the city wall, the first Kaarli Church burned down during the Great Northern War in the early 1700s.

 

The Kaarli Church is home to the first Estonian fresco, “Come to Me,” painted in 1879 by famed Tallinn artist Johann Köler. It also boasts the country's largest church organ, installed in 1924.

Kadriorg Art Museum

This grand, baroque palace built for Peter the Great in 1718-1725 now houses the Art Museum of Estonia's foreign collection. Designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, the palace and surrounding manicured gardens are a humbling example of Tsarist extravagance.

In its current role as the Kadriorg Art Museum, it displays hundreds of 16th- to 20th-century paintings by Western and Russian artists, as well as prints, sculptures and other works.

Surrounding the Palace are several interesting palace side buildings. For example, the restored kitchen building houses a cosy art museum called the Mikkel Museum, and the humble summer cottage is the Peter I House Museum.

Kadriorg Art Museum
St. Catherine's Passage

St Catherine's Passage

Easily the most picturesque of Old Town's lanes, this half-hidden walkway runs behind what used to be St. Catherine's Church. 

The passage is home to the St. Catherine's Guild, a collection of craft workshops where artists use traditional methods to create and sell glassware, hats, quilts, ceramics, jewellery, hand-painted silk and other wares. The workshops are housed in the small, 15th- to 17th-century rooms on the south side of the lane, and are set up in an open-studio fashion so visitors can watch the artists at work, be it glass-blowing, weaving or pottery making.

No other place in Tallinn combines creativity with a medieval atmosphere quite like it.

Tallinn's city wall

With 1.9 km of its original city wall and 20 defensive towers wall still standing, Tallinn boasts one of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications. In fact, a large part of what gives Old Town its fairytale charm is the system of walls and towers that surrounds it.

Work on the town's defences first began in 1265, but the current outline of the wall dates to the 14th century. By its heyday in the 16th century, the wall was 2.4 km long, 14 to 16 metres high, up to three metres thick, and included 46 towers. 

 

Today roughly half of the original towers still loom over Old Town, evoking images of heroic knights and damsels in distress. Many of the Town Wall’s towers serve as museums, while a few others provide opportunities for adventure for kids and teen visitors.

Tallinn's city wall

SMALL GIFT GUIDE
from Estonia with love

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KUMA JEWELLERY

Beautiful butterfly brooches and jewellery from a very famous local brand, Kuma.

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JOIK CANDLES

Great skincare, natural soy wax candles and scent diffusers with 24 great scents.

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CHOCOLALA 

Handmade luxury chocolate from an award-winning confectionery, Chocolala.