Tallinn old town – example of medieval Europe

Feel like a knight
Iryna DubenskaMarch 5, 2020

Famous Tallinn old town is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, the capital, business and cultural center of Estonia.

Tallinn

To Tallinn we sailed the 12-story ferry of the company Tallink from Helsinki, we chose a mini cruise with an overnight stay on the ship.

Tallink

By the way, it is also a way to save money on a hotel. I took an A-class cabin with a window for only 29 euros at a discount. The usual price is 2 times more expensive. The boat offers entertainment for every taste, restaurants, casinos, music bars and even a sauna with pools and Jacuzzi. In addition, there is a supermarket, clothing store, children’s goods store and a children’s room, in general, you will not get bored. I will definitely use the services of this company, but with a different route.

Tallink Tallink

Tallink

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NOTE! Useful information

The old tourist center in Tallinn is very compact, you will not need transport to get to know it, but if you need to get to remote areas of Tallinn, you can find all the information here visittallinn.ee. The ticket price can vary significantly, so a paper ticket purchased from the driver will cost 2 euros, while an electronic ticket is only 1.5, you can buy it here tallinn.pilet.ee.

For the most complete acquaintance with the city, purchase a Tallinn discount card, it will provide free travel, visits to more than 40 museums and discounts on excursions and entertainment visittallinn.ee.

Sights of Tallinn:

The Town Hall Tower will have to climb 115 steps, but the reward will be a gorgeous view of the square, all the spiers and tiled roofs in the area.
Cost: 3 €, free with Tallinn Card.

Hellemann Tower walks open wall section of 200 m, the view opens on both sides of the city.
Cost: 4 €, free with Tallinn Card.

Epping Tower inside exposition with knightly armor.
Cost: 6 €, free with Tallinn Card

Tallinn TV Tower Observation deck and educational project.
There is a restaurant in the evening.
Cost: 10 €, free with Tallinn Card.

Rocca al Mare. The Estonian Open Air Museum has collected rare houses from all regions of Estonia, recreated courtyards and households, it is most interesting to walk with an audio guide, it is also in English. The picturesque nature is added by the fact that the park is located on the rocks near the sea
Cost: 8 €, free with Tallinn Card.

Tasty and reasonably priced food in Tallinn:

kompressorpub.ee
kolmasdraakon.ee

Housing in the city center:

www.booking.com/Share-0ZXbVI

www.booking.com/Share-OlHvCv

hostel www.booking.com/Share-QfJooof

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Tallinn old town

The Tallinn old town is surprisingly good, especially in the early morning, when the majority of tourists are still asleep, then it is almost entirely yours, you can wander for your pleasure occasionally encountering early birds like you. The city is surprisingly warm and I can’t compare it to any of the things I’ve seen before.

Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn

This place is strikingly different from the rest of the modern city. It is an island of history that connects Estonia’s past and present. The ancient city wall, nice towers at the main entrance, narrow ancient streets, authentic tiled houses, small cozy courtyards, majestic churches.

Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn

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Stuff you must have in Tallinn

Raincoats for the ferry trip 

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The Tallinn old town looks like the scenery for a historical film. In the rays of the first-morning sun, the deserted quiet streets of the old town carry the early lonely tourist to the depths of history. Don’t be surprised if walking there you will forget what century you live in, and the suddenly met tourist will seem wild in his modern clothes against the background of medieval scenery. I will not specifically highlight any of the sights of the old city, because I think you should go around everything, so take the map and go ahead.

Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn

Separately, I would like to mention the observation platforms of the Old City, which offer incredible views of the city and the sea.

Tallinn

Behind the fortress wall, there are also many interesting sights – the famous Catherine Palace, Kadriorg Park, Lake Julemiste.

In the west of the city, in the area of Haabersti is the largest zoo in the country. Another significant attraction is the Estonian Ethnographic Open Air Museum. This is an ancient village with windmills and other wooden buildings from different eras. And in summer, you can relax from hours of walks on Kakumäe beach.
Prices in Tallinn are quite affordable and much lower than in Helsinki, so many Finns come here by ferry to buy cheap food and alcoholic drinks.
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If you like to travel alone with a tent and prefer to stay at campsites – here is a list of the best places in Tallinn where you can stay overnight.
Here you can find the best canvas camping tent.
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History of Tallinn

It is not easy to determine the beginning of Tallinn’s history. The location has probably attracted attention as suitable port area long before the first written sources mention the settlement but all historians have archaeological data.

The first traces of settlement in the territory of today’s Tallinn originate from Härjapea River basin in Keldrimäe, but they cannot be directly connected to the city. The early history of Tallinn begins in the suburbs of Iru where at the end of the first millennium a castle with neighbouring settlement was built. The castle was left for unknown reasons at the end of the 11th century and Lindanis Castle (Kolyvan in Russian sources) was built some time later on today’s Toompea Hill – it was mainly the centre of ancient Rävala County (hence the German name of Tallinn: Reval). The castle was probably only a shelter in case of enemy attacks and did not include any permanent settlement in the 13th century.

Trade route in the Gulf of Finland became more widely used in 9th and 10th centuries and thus increased the importance of Tallinn port hub. It is possible that they were seasonal settlements of Scandinavian and Russian merchants on the place of modern lower town at the beginning of 2nd millennium, but there is no obvious evidence from either archaeological or written sources.

Tallinn under the King of Denmark and the German Order.
The first reliable information about Tallinn dates back to the chronicle of Latvian Henrik. The chronicle describes the Danish fleet led by King Waldemar II near Lindanise Castle in June 1219. The Danish landing was part of the German Scandinavian colonization of Livonia and Estonia, during which German crusaders invaded Latvia, Southern and Central Estonia, and Saaremaa and the King of Denmark invaded Northern Estonia. According to the chronicle, on 15 June 1219, a battle took place in the place of the future Tallinn, in which the Danes won a difficult victory. Legend has it that the battle luck turned to the Danes after a red flag with a white cross fell from the sky – Danneborg, the national flag of Denmark today. The Danes founded their stone castle on Toompea.

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