A 5 hour Tallinn Grand tour via Alla Tours. Tallinn is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. In 1154 Tallinn was marked on the world map of the Arab cartographer al-Idrisi. Danish rule of Tallinn and Northern Estonia started in 1219. The Danes sold Tallinn along with their other land possessions in northern Estonia to the Teutonic Order in 1345. In 1561 Tallinn politically became a dominion of Sweden. Swedish troops based in Tallinn capitulated to Imperial Russia in 1710. In 1920 the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed with Soviet Russia, wherein Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic. After World War II started Estonia was annexed by the USSR as a result of coup with help of the Red Army in 1940-41.In August 1991 an independent democratic Estonian state was re-established andTallinn became de-facto capital of a independent country once again.
A view of Tallinn "Old Town" on the way into port. A tethered balloon for getting a great view. Weather started clearing
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A band met the boat as we disembarked for the day.
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Our tour group - for the day and in most of the cities - Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki. It was a good group and we all got along pertty well
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The walikng path headed for Old Town.
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The building of Estonian Drama Theatre is the oldest theatre in Estonia (1910) that has been preserved in its original form. The Nordic Art Nouveau building was designed by architects Nikolai Vassilyev and Aleksei Bubyr from St. Petersburg, whose work was awarded the first prize at the largest international architectural competition of the beginning of the 20th century.
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The Estonian Drama Theatre has been operating in the attractive German theatre building located in the centre of Tallinn since 1924 when Draamastuudio Teater was founded by the first graduating class of Estonia’s first theatre school; in 1937, it was renamed the Estonian Drama Theatre. Although the name does not indicate that it is the national theatre, the Drama Theatre has served in this capacity for a long time. The theatre has always specialized in productions of classic plays from world literature and contemporary drama from different countries.
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Completed in 1998 Kawe Plaza is 8 stories high and contains commercial offices and ground lever shops. I thought is was an intersesting juxtaposition to the older city coming up.
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Our guide (middle in stripes) s'plaining it to us. more or less... The upper town (Toompea) with the castle and the cathedral has always been the administrative centre of the country, whereas the lower town preserves to a remarkable extent the medieval urban fabric of narrow winding streets, many of which retain their medieval names, and fine public and burgher buildings, including town wall, Town Hall, pharmacy, churches, monasteries, merchants’ and craftsmen’ guilds, and the domestic architecture of the merchants' houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree. The distribution of building plots survives virtually intact from the 13th-14th centuries.
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Toompea Castle (also Latin: Castrum Danorum, Estonian: Toompea loss; (previously probably) Taani loss, literally "The Danish castle") is a castle on the limestone hill of Toompea in the central part of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, which for a time was also one of the names for the whole settlement of Tallinn during the times of Danish Estonia in the 13th and 14th centuries. The much-rebuilt Toompea Castle, topped by the Pikk Hermann tower, still dominates Toompea today. It houses the Parliament of Estonia.
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Pikk Hermann tower - The first wooden castle (in some Finnic sources referred to as Kesoniemi), it is believed to have been built on the hill in either the 10th or 11th century by residents of the ancient Estonian county of Rävala (Revalia). It was probably one of the first inhabited areas of what later became Tallinn. In 1219, the castle was taken over by Danish crusaders - led by Valdemar II. According to a legend very popular among Danes, the very first flag of Denmark (Dannebrog) fell from the sky during a critical stage of the Battle of Lyndanisse, fought near the castle, resulting in Danish victory over Estonians.
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Kaarli kirik - Charles Church (Estonian: Kaarli kirik) is a Lutheran church in Tallinn, Estonia, built 1862-1870 to plans by Otto Pius Hippius. It is Tallinn's grandest 19th-century church. The cornerstone of the new church was laid in 1862. The church, still incomplete, was inaugurated in 1870.The two towers on the west side were enlarged in 1882
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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - is an orthodox cathedral in the Tallinn Old Town, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire.
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The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church.
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The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea which is one of several places where according to legend the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg's father Kalev is said to have been buried. The cathedral was built during the period of late 19th century Russification and was so disliked by many Estonians as a symbol of oppression that the Estonian authorities scheduled the cathedral for demolition in 1924, but the decision was never implemented due to lack of funds and the building's massive construction.
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As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this cathedral were left to decline. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
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St Mary's Cathedral, Tallinn (Estonian: Toomkirik, full name: Tallinna Neitsi Maarja Piiskoplik Toomkirik, German: Ritter- und Domkirche, English: The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin in Tallinn, also known as Dome Church. Originally established by Danes on 13th century, it is the oldest church in Tallinn and mainland Estonia. It is also the only building in Toompea which survived a 17th century fire.
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Originally a Roman Catholic cathedral, it became Lutheran in 1561 and now belongs to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Dome Church’s exterior dates from the 15th century, the spire dates from the 18th century. Most of the church’s furnishings goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries. From 1778 to 1779 a new baroque spire was built in the western part of the nave.
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This relief sculpture presents Voldemar Panso -the first leader of the Drama School of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatrei. Panso was leader of the school in years 1957-1977.
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Views of the lower town. From this point and in this direction you can see all the way to the port with the Serenade of the Seas in port.
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Panoramic view of the lower town.
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Views of the lower town. This view includes the dome and tower on the Gustav Adolf Lyceum or Gustav Adolf Gymnasium (Estonian: Tallinna Gustav Adolfi Gümnaasium), in Tallinn, Estonia, was established in 1631 by the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf. The school buildings were originally constructed in the 13th century as a nunnery. Later the buildings has been rebuilt and expanded on. The latest renovation, completed in 1999, was intended to recover its historical appearance and value. The school is adjacent to the 13th century Tallinn Old Town city wall, which gives the whole complex a unique historic atmosphere and beauty.
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The tall tower is St. Olaf’s church or St. Olav's church (Estonian: Oleviste kirik) in Tallinn, Estonia, is believed to have been built in the 12th century. The motivation for building such an immensely tall steeple must have been to use it as a maritime signpost, which made the trading city of Tallinn visible from far out at sea. Following several rebuildings, its overall height is now 123.7 meters.
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Passage down from the Upper Town to the lower town.
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St. Nicholas' Church (Estonian: Niguliste kirik) is a medieval church. It was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron of the fishermen and sailors. Originally built in the 13th century, it was partially destroyed in Soviet Bombing of Tallinn in World War II. It has since been restored and today houses a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia, focusing mainly on ecclesiastical art from the Middle Ages onward. The former church is also used as a concert hall
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On March 9, 1944, the church was severely damaged by Soviet Bombing of Tallinn in World War II. The resulting fire turned the church into ruins and destroyed most of its interior (except that of the St. Anthony chapel), including baroque pews, lofts and pulpit. The tower continued to smoke for about a month. Most precious art treasures survived thanks to their timely evacuation from the church. The renovation of the church started in 1953 and was completely finished in 1981. The church tower was again damaged by a fire on October 12, 1982. The tower was burnt out and spire destroyed, roofs of the nave and the chapel of St. Anthony damaged.Restoration carried out under the guidance of conservator-restorer Villem Raam, the church was inaugurated in 1984
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This wheel well was once one of the main sources of water for the Tallinn. According to legend, some of the locals got it into their heads that an evil water spirit lived in the well and threatened to make all the town's wells run dry if it wasn't given regular animal sacrifices. To keep the spirit happy, some cattle and sheep carcasses were thrown down the well, but the main victims were stray cats, who were rounded up and tossed, sometimes live, down the shaft. This practice was so common that the locals started calling this watering hole 'Cat's Well.' In a sense, the sacrifices worked - the town's wells never ran dry. But the practice of throwing animals down the well didn't do much for the water quality, and the Cat's Well had fallen into disuse by the mid 19th century.
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NUKU Estonian State Puppet and Youth Theatre
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Clock of the Church of the Holy Ghost in Tallinn. This detailed carved clock from 1633 still keeps time and is one of the most photographed objects in Tallinn.
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Lavender in the square.
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The Great Guild Hall (built in 1410), in which the Estonian History Museum is located since 1952, is one of the jewels of Tallinn's Old Town. A bronze knocker letter stands for "God bless all who are in the house and those who will come here again." The museum is the oldest collection of raeapteeker J. Burchard "Mon faible" in 1802 onwards. The museum was founded in 1842.
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The Town Hall Square (Estonian: Raekoja plats) is a city square beside Tallinn Town Hall (Estonian: Raekoda) at the center of Tallinn, Estonia. It is a venue for festivals or concerts like Tallinn Old Town Days (Estonian: Tallinna Vanalinna Päevad), and several bars and restaurants are located in the near vicinity.
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There has been a town hall in Tallinn since at least 1322 and a town square next to it ever since then. The hall was rebuilt from 1402 to 1404 into its current form, and a Christmas tree display has been held in the square since 1441, making the Tallinn Christmas tree display over 570 years old.
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The Tallinn Town Hall is the oldest town hall in the whole of the Baltic region and Scandinavia. The town hall was built by what was then the market square. The town hall square got its current length in the 1370s.
The vane Old Thomas (Estonian: Vana Toomas) on the top of the Town Hall's tower, that has been there since 1530, has become one of the symbols of Tallinn. The height of the tower is 64 metres. In 1944, the spire of the town hall bursted into flames and was destroyed in the bombing of Tallinn in the World War II. The tower was restored in 1952.
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One of the gargoyles of the Tallinn town hall
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The Town Hall Pharmacy is the oldest in Europe that has continually operated from the same premises. It was first mentioned in town records in 1422, when an apothecary by the name of Nyclawes was summoned to a session of the town's rulers - but he was at least the third apothecary to have served Tallinn.
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Katariina Käik (Katariina Lane) awakened to its new life in the summer of 1995. On this short street, named for the Katariina church which borders one side of it, there are various open studios which function as everyday workrooms for the artists. Connecting Vene and Müürivahe streets, the buildings form a unique medieval ensemble and as such have affected both the layout of the studios as well as the organization of work.