Tallinn, Estonia

Panorama of All-linn (Lower Old Town) taken from Toompea (Upper Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

Panorama of All-linn (Lower Old Town) taken from Toompea (Upper Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

 

“Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 miles) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg.  Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 square miles) and has a population of 440,597.  Approximately 32% of Estonia’s total population lives in Tallinn.  Founded in 1248 but the earliest human settlements date back to 3000 years BC, making it one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe.  Due to its important strategic location the city soon became a major trade hub, especially between the 14th to 16th century when it grew to be a key center of commerce within the Hanseatic League.  Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved and intact medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.” – Wikipedia

 

The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is where in 1988 the Spring Revolution set Estonia on its road towards independence; the site now hosts the “Song and Dance Celebration" every 5 years with 24,000 singers and 200,000 spectators

The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is where in 1988 the Spring Revolution set Estonia on its road towards independence; the site now hosts the “Song and Dance Celebration” every 5 years with 24,000 singers and 200,000 spectators

 

St. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, completed in 1900, sits atop Toompea Hill (upper Old Town); it was built to reflect Russian dominance over the territory at that time; Tallinn, Estonia

St. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, completed in 1900, sits atop Toompea Hill (upper Old Town); it was built to reflect Russian dominance over the territory at that time; Tallinn, Estonia

 

The highly decorated Russian Orthodox interior of St. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia

The highly decorated Russian Orthodox interior of St. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia

 

A rare example of a 19th century building with the limestone blocks exposed – the later construction method was to then cover the facades with plaster painted in a variety of bright hues, Toompea (upper Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

A rare example of a 19th century building with the limestone blocks exposed – the later construction method was to then cover the facades with plaster painted in a variety of bright hues, Toompea (upper Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

 

A portion of the old town wall in Toompea (upper Old Town); the walls, constructed in the 13th century, covered a circumference of 1.9 km (1.2 miles) and are one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval fortifications; Tallinn, Estonia

A portion of the old town wall in Toompea (upper Old Town); the walls, constructed in the 13th century, covered a circumference of 1.9 km (1.2 miles) and are one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval fortifications; Tallinn, Estonia

 

Tallinna Raekoda (Town Hall), dates back to the early 15th century (the weathervane atop the spire was first placed there in 1530); it is now used for concerts and select political events; Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinna Raekoda (Town Hall), dates back to the early 15th century (the weathervane atop the spire was first placed there in 1530); it is now used for concerts and select political events; Tallinn, Estonia

 

In Old Town (both the upper section, Toompea Hill, and the lower section, All-linn) cobblestone streets wind along the remnants of a powerful medieval city wall, past its gates and guard towers and spread out in between narrow row houses.  Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square) is surrounded by sunny, pastel-colored structures, leaving the center open for the market, as it has been since the 11th century.  St. Katherine’s (Katarina’s) Passage has galleries set up in vaulted cellar rooms.

 

A close-up of the spire of Tallinna Raekoda (Town Hall); the tower is accessible for climbing for a view of the city during the summer; Tallinn, Estonia

A close-up of the spire of Tallinna Raekoda (Town Hall); the tower is accessible for climbing for a view of the city during the summer; Tallinn, Estonia

 

A long row of shops and cafes along one side of Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), Tallinn, Estonia

A long row of shops and cafes along one side of Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), Tallinn, Estonia

 

An old shop on the corner of the Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), dating back to the 15th century, Tallinn, Estonia

An old shop on the corner of the Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), dating back to the 15th century, Tallinn, Estonia

 

An outdoor cafe in Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), Tallinn, Estonia

An outdoor cafe in Raekoja Plats (Town Hall square), Tallinn, Estonia

 

Home to St. Catherine’s Guild, St. Catherine’s passage is one of the most picturesque sites in All-linn (Lower Old Town); 15th to 17th century rooms for artisans line the lane, adjacent to the Dominican Monastery; Tallinn, Estonia

Home to St. Catherine’s Guild, St. Catherine’s passage is one of the most picturesque sites in All-linn (Lower Old Town); 15th to 17th century rooms for artisans line the lane, adjacent to the Dominican Monastery; Tallinn, Estonia

 

The old town wall at the eastern side of All-linn (Lower Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

The old town wall at the eastern side of All-linn (Lower Old Town), Tallinn, Estonia

 

A fantastical dining scene tableau at the storefront window of the 2-year old, all local products restaurant, “Farm”, near the Viru Gates [see next photograph] where, with friends, we had an incredible Estonian dinner; Tallinn, Estonia

A fantastical dining scene tableau at the storefront window of the 2-year old, all local products restaurant, “Farm”, near the Viru Gates [see next photograph] where, with friends, we had an incredible Estonian dinner; Tallinn, Estonia

One of the two Viru Gates towers that were part of the larger and more complex defense system that once protected All-linn (Lower Old Town), built in the 14th century; Tallinn, Estonia

One of the two Viru Gates towers that were part of the larger and more complex defense system that once protected All-linn (Lower Old Town), built in the 14th century; Tallinn, Estonia

 

 

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