Attractions and museums
Tallinn was first mentioned in 1154. Tallinn’s Old Town belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage List offers medieval atmosphere and the beautiful architecture of Hanseatic city. While taking a walk in the Old Town notice the different small details preserved from the medieval times — the pillory rings on the wall of Tallinn’s Town Hall, marked stones in the Town Hall Square or just some centuries old small design elements.
Town Hall Square, photo: Toomas Volmer
Visiting Tallinn’s Old Town, you should definitely go to Toompea, where the parliament is housed and next to it there’s Pikk Hermann Tower with the Estonian national flag on top. The former cannon tower Fat Margaret is now the home of Estonian Maritime Museum. St Olav’s Church, which was the world’s tallest building in the 16th century with its 159-metre tall spire, offers during summer period the chance to climb to the church tower’s observation platform. Kiek in de Kök’s passages under the bastion give the opportunity to view the Old Town from underneath. The permanent exhibition “Time travel. Tallinn 1219-2219” introduces Estonian history in a novel way. Tallinn’s Old Town offers the joy of discovery and positive emotions for several days. There are many other interesting attractions in the old town.
Estonian History Museum — Great Guild Hall
The mediaeval Great Guild Hall has always played an important role in the life of the city. The permanent exhibition at the History Museum "SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL. 11,000 years of Estonian History" (opened in 2011) helps to understand the singularity of the people who have lived in Estonia and introduces historical events that have affected them the most. The exhibition discloses the story of Estonian past through rooms with different topics, such as the Gun Room that tells about wars, the exhibition "Power of the Elite" that talks about the Great Guild and mediaeval trade. You can also see different currencies and take part in historical events in the interactive time capsule.
There is more to Tallinn than just the old town. Russian Tsar Peter I built the Kadriorg Palace as his family’s summer residence and created a gorgeous park ensemble around it. Today, people enjoy spending their leisure time in the park, which offers activities for the whole family. Therefore, it has become one of the most popular places in Tallinn both for locals and tourists.
Kadriorg Palace, photo: Toomas Volmer
Kadriorg Park is also the home for Kadriorg Art Museum — baroque castle, where the foreign art collection of Estonian Art Museum is exhibited. And it’s only 100 metres from the new and magnificent Kumu Art Museum, which displays the classics of Estonian art and culture.
Outside the city centre, on the seashore in Rocca al Mare, there’s Estonian Open Air Museum, which is akin to a village, where you can see Estonian rural architecture and village life from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Like in any village, there is a church, a tavern, a school, some mills, a fire station, etc. The museum's 12 farms give an overview of how people with different economic conditions lived in the olden times. It’s a great place to pass time and gain some wisdom in every season.
Estonian Design House is a recently opened showroom of Estonian designers, where visitors can see their newest designs.
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