Tallinn Sights and Landmarks Guide, Estonia
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is one of the oldest and most beautiful of the Baltic cities. It was declared a World Heritage Site several years ago, and its magnificently preserved medieval buildings attract many visitors. Tallinn is only a 20 minute flight away from its sister city, Helsinki, and it is a favourite destination of not only holiday-makers, but also day trippers from the Swedish capital. Like other beautifully preserved old cities in the Baltic region, such as Riga and Vilnius, Tallinn is recovering from the Soviet influence and is rapidly regaining its medieval charm.
Tallinn Sights - Museums
There are more museums in Tallinn than one can possibly visit during one holiday. Whatever your interests may be, Tallinn surely has something for you. For art aficionados, the Kumu Art Museum is a must see. It hosts an impressive collection of modern art, as well as classical Estonian paintings and sculptures. The Kadriorg Art Museum is a fine example of tsarist architecture and interior design, and it also displays a splendid collection of foreign art. Sea-faring is a very important aspect of Estonian culture and economy, so it is not surprising that there is a museum dedicated to the art of navigation. The Nautical Museum presents a quaint collection of antique fishing tools, diving equipment and other related curiosities. Tallinn’s oldest intact building, the Dominican Monastery, has been converted into a museum. In addition to the breath-taking Gothic architecture, visitors are also regaled with a large collection of beautifully carved stones.
Tallinn Sights - Architecture
Tallinn’s charming Old City is among the most representative examples of medieval towns in Europe. Most buildings were built between the 15th and 17th century. The two medieval areas of Tallinn, Toompea and Lower Town are best explored on foot. Toompea Hill used to be the dwelling of the glamorous 18th and 19th century Estonian aristocracy. Toompea Castle is one of the best known landmarks in the entire country. This 12th century building was built by the Danes, who conquered Estonia, and it is the most distinctive building in Toompea. Other architectural marvels include the defensive wall built in the 1500’s to protect the city against invaders. Even after five centuries, the wall and its towers are still intact and surround the old part of the city. The best feature of the Lower Old City is the Town Hall Square, the gathering place of merchants in medieval times. This Tallinn Sights Guide recommends that you also visit the Town Hall, a magnificent structure built in the 13th century.
Tallinn Sights - Curiosities
One of the most interesting buildings in Tallinn is the former KGB headquarters. The grim history of the structure is obvious from the bricked-up cellar windows where the Soviet occupation tortured their prisoners. This Tallinn Sights Guide recommends that you visit Europe’s oldest functioning pharmacy. The quaint little apothecary in the Town Hall Square was built in the 15th century, and it has kept its original location ever since. If you are shopping for souvenirs, you absolutely have to visit the Master’s Courtyard in the Old Town, where you can buy handmade jewellery and art, traditional Estonian handcrafts, and also delicious confectionaries.
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