The medieval old town in Tallinn

Posted by Laura Želvytė  |  August 01, 2016

If you‘re still wondering what to do in Tallinn, fear no more – we are here to help! Dating back to the 13th century, the Old Town in Tallinn invites you for an unforgettable visit. The Old Town of Tallinn Is often referred as the most beautiful Old Town in the Baltic countries! Go for a stroll through the labyrinth-like cobbled streets and discover the secrets held by the beautiful medieval old town in Tallin. And when I say “discover secrets” – I mean it!

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Historic architecture

The rise of Tallinn began in the 13th century when the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order built a castle where Tallinn now stands. Soon, it became a centre of the Hanseatic League. Tallinn was used to show off the League’s wealth – extraordinary and expensive buildings like churches, merchant houses, hidden courtyards, rose all over the city. Surprising thing is – the majority of the spectacular buildings are still there despite Tallinn being nearly destroyed, invaded and almost burnt to the ground, so many times. The old town of Tallinn is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and should be number one visit on your “Things to do in Tallinn” list.

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The Medieval days

Every year Tallinn hosts one of the most important events of the Estonian Folk art – the Medieval Days. The fair takes place in the historic old town and is stretched out through almost a whole first week of July. During the fair, a medieval market is set up in the Town Hall Square and not only offers an extensive amount of souvenirs and meals to buy but has workshops and a bunch of fun activities for you to try out. What’s even greater, musicians and dancers from all over the country take their place on stage. Various performances, excursions and medieval processions take place during the fair. There even are special workshops set up only for kids to enjoy! If you visit Tallinn in the early July, make sure to take part in this unique event!

Hidden underground tunnels

The old town of Tallinn is full of secrets, legends and… underground passages. It‘s not surprising that a medieval city like Tallinn has so many historical places to visit, even if they are almost mythical. The old tower Kiek has the old passages to the secret underground tunnels. They were built in the 17th century but were barely used until the 20th, when they were turned into bomb shelters during the WWII. And during the Soviet period, the tunnels were modernised by adding plumbing, ventilation, electricity and even phones. When on a Tallinn tour, make sure to visit the Bastion Tunnels – visitors can see leftover equipment from the past and have a guide tell the whole history of these incredible underground passages.

The Toompea Castle

The famous Toompea Castle -a historical architecture masterpiece – stands on a hill in the old town of Tallinn. Legend has it that the whole Toompea hill was made by Linda – a well-known Estonian mythologic figure. The less magical truth is that settlers in ancient Estonia used the hill as an easily defended stronghold. The Hill was one of the first inhabited areas in Estonia and later became Tallinn. Over time, the fortress was made into a castle where the Estonian monarchy lived and ruled. Now you can take advantage of tours in Tallinn and visit the beautiful Toompea Castle.
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