Tallinn's medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the best-preserved old town in Northern Europe. No matter which time of year you come to Tallinn's Old Town, there is something to see all year round. If you are planning to start a tour of the Old Town at the Town Hall Square, for example, you should definitely look for a circular stone in the middle of the square where you can see Tallinn's five medieval towers at the same time.
Below are just a few of the inspirational ideas why Tallinn's Old Town should be added to your travel plans:
Town hall harmacy
Or hooves, earthworm oil, bleached dog dirt. Yes, you read that right. This is the kind of medication that could be bought in the Middle Ages from the Raadinapteek, which is now the oldest pharmacy in the same premises in Europe.
If you hit the Town Hall Square on your stroll, it is definitely worth a visit to the Town Hall Pharmacy, which now houses both a modern pharmacy and a museum. On guided tours, you can sample the clarinet, the wine of the Raadinpteek, which is prepared according to a very old recipe, or try molding a marzipan in a workshop. To find out if marzipan also alleviates heart aches and promotes brain function as claimed, you have to go and try it out.
Saiakang and the Church of the Holy Spirit
Did you know where it says, "I hit the slave as well as the ring, the mistress and the master, no one seems to have a blame for me"?
This text is on the bell of the Holy Spirit Church, located along the promenade called Saiakang. The Church of the Holy Spirit was built in connection with the orphanage established in the 13th century. Homeless people were allowed to stay in the house until they could eat. However, soon after they were greeted, they were driven away again, and those who had eaten, left, passing through Saiakang, a pedestrian street.
Nowadays, you will find Saiakang Cafe, which is nice to have a cup of coffee and a cake.
Olevinen Church and observation deck
Did you know that the Gothic church in Tallinn was the tallest building in the world in the 15th century?
If you come to Tallinn's Old Town in the summer, you might want to take the opportunity to visit the Oleviste Church's viewing platform, which offers breathtaking views over Tallinn's Old Town, the harbor and Toompea. However, a small physical effort must be made to reach the viewing platform. However, it is worth the effort to climb 258 steps along a narrow staircase to a 60-meter-high viewing platform.
Estonia's oldest cafe, Maiasmokk, has been in the same place for over 150 years. The café, which has remained almost unchanged, offers fresh pastries and coffee or tea. In the café's marzipan room, where marzipan patterns are still made in old molds, you'll also get a glimpse of the marzipan's history.
Kohtuotsan and Patkulin viewing platforms
For the best views of the city wall, churches, harbor, Tallinn Old Town and towers, you can enjoy the viewing platforms of Kohtuotsa and / or Patkulin, which are open all year round in any weather. Patatkul's viewing platform is also accessible from Snell Pond along a 173-step staircase built in 1903. The platform overlooks the Stenbock House, which was originally built as a courthouse and prison building and later became the home of the developer Stenbock's family. Since 2000, the building has been occupied by the Estonian Government.
When you step into Olde Hansa, a medieval restaurant in Tallinn's Old Town, you feel like you've moved back in time. Everything is done in the spirit of the Middle Ages and according to the traditions of the time: the medieval clothes of the restaurant workers, the musicians and the delicious dinner, which is made using medieval recipes and methods and is enjoyed in candlelight.
Royal Danish Garden
Did you know that, according to legend, the Danish national flag was obtained from Tallinn when, just over 800 years ago, when the Danes were on a conquest, a red and white flag was flying from the sky? There are many different stories about the birth of the Royal Danish Garden. Today, this green area on the other side of the city wall on Toompea is very suitable for some rest. Walking in the Royal Danish Garden you will also come across "floating" monks. These are three 2.5-meter-high bronze sculptures, slightly off the ground and the wall.
Who is Fat Margaret? Thick Margaret is a UNESCO World Heritage Site cannon tower with walls 4-6 meters thick. It was built in the Middle Ages to secure the harbor along the Great Shore Gate. Originally known as the Rose Rosary Tower, the building was probably named after Fat Margarets by sailors. If you approach the old town from the harbor direction, you will pass the fat Margareta as the tower is right at the entrance of the old town. Today the building houses the Estonian Maritime Museum, where one of the most special exhibits is the 700-year-old wreckage of a Kogg ship found in Kadriorg in 2015. The museum is a truly exciting and interesting place for both history and nautical enthusiasts.
Until the end of the 19th century, the Lühike jalg and Pikk jalg streets were the only means of communication between the separate administrative units, Toompea and the Tallinn suburb. The Long Foot Street was accessible by horse-drawn carriages and carts, and the Short Foot was a so-called stairway that also reached Toompea. Because of two streets (feet) of different lengths, Tallinn has sometimes been called a limping city. If you decide to go to Toompea or descend along Lühike jalg, you may see a sailing ship or a praying monk hanging out of the wall, as it is said that Lühike jalg is haunting the street.
The blue-white flag fluttering in Toompea's Tall Hermann Tower, escorted by an Estonian national anthem, to the top of the tower every morning as the sun rises and falls at sunset. If you visit Tallinn in February, are in the early hours of the morning and go for a walk to Toompea on the 24th of February before sunrise, Toompea may be crowded as many Estonians have gathered there to attend the festive flag raising ceremony on Estonia's birthday.
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