Tallinn Estonia

   
 
 

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the European Capital of Culture in 2011, is a beautiful and historic city which has preserved it's past in a unique and mysterious way.

Tallinn's Old Town is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It is a magnificent blend of medieval streets and modern conveniences. There are cafes, restaurants, shops and street fairs all easily accessible within the impressive city walls. Experience the Middle Ages with a stroll through the cobblestone streets where you can peek into side alleys, inner courtyards and artisan's workshops. Traditions like Old Town Days and medieval markets keep the Hanseatic heritage alive in a most enchanting way. Tallinners love to eat and you can share their joy with a mixture of medieval atmosphere and modern cuisine. The skills of Tallinn's craftsmen have been handed down for centuries. Here you can search for treasures in the variety of workshops, handicraft shops and markets.

Through the centuries, Tallinn's culture has been influenced by it's many rulers. Tallinn thrived during the Middle Ages and this heritage is immaculately preserved. The Russian Tsar Peter I love Tallinn and had his summer palace, Kadriorg, built here for his wife Catherine. Many powerful symbols of the Soviet period can be seen all over Tallinn. In the Song Festival of 1988, 300,000 Estonians came together to "sing" their protest and open the way to freedom. The tradition of song festivals began in the 19th century and are a testament to Estonian national pride.

Tallinn has wonderful sights and experiences for the whole family. You can climb the steeple of St. Olaf's Church, once the tallest building in the world, or take a mini-train around the Old Town. Tallinn's delights capture the imagination of children of all ages. Take the children to many of Tallinn's museums for an educational tour through history. Tallinn's Zoo, with the most exciting collection of animals in Northern Europe, is a delight not to be missed. For the active traveler, you can experience everything from bike tours and boat rentals to skating and go-carts.

Lively, mobile, progressive and chic, Tallinn has the best of modern Europe and is clearly a city on the upswing. Tallinn's nightlife is a legendary blend of non-stop options, which continue until the early hours of the morning. Corner cafes, wine bars and upscale restaurants offer a blend of ethnic and modern cuisines mixed with century old traditions of good food and drink. Spa and beauty treatments in and around Tallinn offer the visitor a chance to relax and replenish. These spas are open all year and offer the ultimate in a vacation getaway. We offer several Spa Vacation Packages.

Tucked away in beautiful Estonia, Tallinn is a destination not to be missed.

Sights

 
Medieval Old Town

The unique value of Tallinns Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved completeness of its medieval milieu and structure, which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCOs World Heritage list.

Its powerful defensive structures have protected Tallinn from being destroyed in wars, and its lack of wooden buildings has protected it from burning down. But it is also crucial that Tallinn hasnt been massively rebuilt in the interest of dispensing with the old and modernising the town.

Tallinn is one of the best retained medieval European towns, with its web of winding cobblestone streets and properties, from the 11th to 15th centuries, preserved nearly in its entirety. All the most important state and church buildings from the Middle Ages have been preserved in their basic original form, as well as many citizens and merchants residences, along with barns and warehouses from the medieval period.

The golden era in Tallinns history lies in the period between the early 15th and mid 16th centuries. Tallinn had attained fame and a powerful role in the Baltic Sea area through its membership in the Hanseatic League. Economic might carried with it both the need to defend the city and the opportunity for a rich period of architectural and artistic creativity.

 
Kadriorg

From the time that Peter the Great captured Tallinn in 1710 until just after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Tallinn was under Russian Tsarist rule. Though the Baltic Germans still played a dominant role in town life, the Russian empire brought its own customs, architecture, and the Russian Orthodox religion, all of which heavily influenced the development of Tallinn through the 18th and 19th centuries. The most lasting remnants of that era are symbols of the Tsars power and extravagance, such as the magnificent Kadriorg palace and surrounding parks, and the symbols of the empire itself, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.The emergence and development of Kadriorg was influenced first and foremost by the high society of the tsars empire. The streets of Kadriorg are as good as a unique architectural museum, weaving together various centuries and cultures. Noble villas and summer estates, functionalist apartment buildings with stately flats are interspersed with cheaper Estonian rented wooden houses. Kadriorg is one of the more dignified areas even today, and one of the best loved residential regions of Tallinn. The Estonian residents residence and many foreign embassies are located here. The park is one of the favourite spots for walking of Tallinners young and old. But Kadriorg is famed mostly for its baroque palace and park ensemble, begun in 1718 as the summer palace for the family of Russian tsar Peter I. In February 2006 the Estonian Art Museum opened in Kadriorg. Kumu is the first purpose-built museum in Estonia KUMU where both classical and contemporary Estonian art are displayed and exhibitions on international contemporary art are held.

 
Tallinn

Estonia was first occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then by Nazi Germany in 1941, and again by the Soviets in 1944. The country remained occupied, forcibly integrated into the USSR, from the end of the war until the country regained its independence in 1991. During that time Soviet rule left indelible marks on Tallinns landscape which today serve as reminders of the powerful regime that once exercised tight control over every aspect of life in Estonia. Theyre also fascinating places to visit for foreign guests interested in that chapter of the worlds history.

Note that visitors willing to invest the time travel outside Tallinn can see some fascinating remains of Soviet military bases in Naissaar, an island 8.5 km off the coast, and in the port town of Paldiski, 49 km from the capital.

 
Estonian Open Air Museum

The Open Air Museum presents a unique collection of old Estonian buildings on a 79-hectare expanse of seaside land.

Farm buildings, windmills and water mills from various periods and regions have been brought together here. Folk holidays are celebrated in traditional style at the museum, and often folk dance and music can be enjoyed here.

Estonian Open Air Museum is located in a picturesque 79-hectare forest park by Kopli Bay.

Farm buildings from various times and places are on display, along with windmills, water mills and much more. The museum is outside of the city and its hectic hubbub, an ideal place to take a picnic and escape from city life.

Handicrafts are sold in the main gateway and horseback rides are also available. A village inn serves national dishes every day.

Children's Museum is open since autumn 2002.

 
Medieval Old Town

The unique value of Tallinns Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved completeness of its medieval milieu and structure which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCOs World Heritage list.

Its powerful defensive structures have protected Tallinn from being destroyed in wars, and its lack of wooden buildings has protected it from fire.

Tallinn is one of the best retained medieval European towns in Europe, with its web of winding cobblestone streets and properties, from the 11th to 15th centuries, preserved nearly in its entirety. All the most important state and church buildings from the Middle Ages have been preserved in their original form, as well as many citizens and merchants residences, barns and warehouses from the medieval period.

The golden era of Tallinns history lies in the period between the early 15th and mid 16th centuries. Tallinn had attained fame and a powerful role in the Baltic Sea area through its membership in the Hanseatic League. Economic might carried with it both the need to defend the city and the opportunity for a rich period of architectural and artistic creativity. Among the innumerable sights to be explored are the "Lower Town" with the Town Hall and Great Guild Hall, the Medieval Churches, the Latin Quarter with the Dominican Monastery and St. Catherines Passage, the town walls and towers, and Upper Town with Toompea Castle,

 
Kadriorg Palace

Peter I began building the Kadriorg Palace in 1718, and it was called Ekaterinenthal, or Catherinenthal, in honour of his wife Catherine I.

The architect of the temporary summer residence palace and park was the Italian Niccolo Michetti, who was later involved in the building of the famous Peterhof Palace. It is said that the tsar himself laid the first foundation stones for his palace in Tallinn.

In the 1930s, Kadriorg Palace became a residence for the head of state. Across the back flower garden lies the presidents office building, built a few years before World War II, which today serves as the residence of the President of the Republic of Estonia.

Currently, the baroque Kadriorg Palace is housing the foreign art collection of the Estonian Art Museum, which organizes concerts and theatre performances, lectures and receptions, in addition to art exhibitions.

 
Soviet Legacy

Estonia was first occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then by Nazi Germany in 1941, and again by the Soviets in 1944. The country remained occupied and forcibly integrated into the USSR from the end of the war until the country regained its independence in 1991. During that time Soviet rule left indelible marks on Tallinns landscape which today serve as reminders of the powerful regime that once exercised tight control over every aspect of life in Estonia. Sights of interest include KGB Headquarters, bombing raid ruins, the Maarjamae War Memorial and the Museum of Occupation Fight for Freedom. Visitors willing to invest the time travel outside Tallinn can see some fascinating remains of Soviet military bases in Naissaar, an island 8.5 km off the coast, and in the port town of Paldiski, 49 km from the capital.

 
St. Olav

The 13th-century St. Olavs Church once boasted the tallest spire in the whole world. Now the 124-metre steeple still dwarfs most of Tallinns buildings and remains an important symbol of the town. After a vigorous climb (only April-October) to the top of the stone portion of the tower, visitors are rewarded with a magnificent and dizzying view of all of Old Town, Toompea hill and the port.

 
Tallinn Zoo

Tigers, wolves, elephants, owls and about 350 other kinds of creatures can be found at the Tallinn Zoo, which boasts one of the largest collections in this part of Europe. The extensive grounds include various habitats, a number of aquariums, and an elephant house.

 
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

The collective consciousness of the Estonian nation has two beliefs related to the general song festivals. One is that in 1869 a nameless agricultural people sang their way to becoming a European nation. The other, from the more recent past, is that the Estonians sang their way to freedom from Soviet occupation.

In 1988, the Song Festival Grounds were the site of a united song festival which turned into a grand protest demanding the end of Soviet power, with nearly a third of Estonians participating.

The song stage itself, designed by architect Alar Kotli in 1960, is one of the more remarkable Soviet-era modernist constructions, unusual for its original arched structure. The Vilnius song stage in Lithuania was later built to the same design. Likewise, the location of the Song Grounds by the sea gives the top bleacher seats the chance to enjoy a sea view.

The general song festivals, which take place every five years, bring together thousands of singers. The largest choir was a union of 25,000 singers. In addition to the song festivals, other festivals and rock concerts are also organised at the song grounds.

The 54-meter fire tower, next to the song stage, has a viewing platform with a lovely view over Tallinn, and a fire urn which is lit for the song festival periods.

 
Estonian Open Air Museum

The Open Air Museum presents a unique collection of old Estonian buildings on a 79-hectare expanse of seaside land.

Farm buildings, windmills and water mills from various periods and regions have been brought together here. Folk holidays are celebrated in traditional style at the museum, and often folk dance and music can be enjoyed here. The museum is outside of the city and its hectic hubbub and an ideal place to take a picnic and escape from city life.

Handicrafts are sold in the main gateway and horseback rides are also available. A village inn serves national dishes every day.

The Children's Museum has been open since autumn 2002.

 
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

The collective consciousness of the Estonian nation has two beliefs related to the general song festivals. One is that in 1869 a nameless agricultural people sang their way to becoming a European nation. The other, from the more recent past, is that the Estonians sang their way to freedom from Soviet occupation.

In 1988, the Song Festival Grounds were the site of a united song festival which turned into a grand protest demanding the end of Soviet power, with nearly a third of Estonians participating.

The song stage itself, designed by architect Alar Kotli in 1960, is one of the more remarkable Soviet-era modernist constructions, unusual for its original arched structure. The Vilnius song stage in Lithuania was later built to the same design. Likewise, the location of the Song Grounds by the sea gives the top bleacher seats the chance to enjoy a sea view.

The general song festivals, which take place every five years, bring together thousands of singers. The largest choir was a union of 25,000 singers. In addition to the song festivals, other festivals and rock concerts are also organised at the song grounds.

The 54-meter fire tower, next to the song stage, has a viewing platform with a lovely view over Tallinn, and a fire urn which is lit for the song festival periods.

 
Estonian Open Air Museum

The Open Air Museum presents a unique collection of old Estonian buildings on a 79-hectare expanse of seaside land.

Farm buildings, windmills and water mills from various periods and regions have been brought together here. Folk holidays are celebrated in traditional style at the museum, and often folk dance and music can be enjoyed here. The museum is outside of the city and its hectic hubbub and an ideal place to take a picnic and escape from city life.

Handicrafts are sold in the main gateway and horseback rides are also available. A village inn serves national dishes every day.

The Children's Museum has been open since autumn 2002.