Exploring the Fairy Tale of Talinn, Estonia

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Advice, Europe, Restaurant, Scandinavia, Story, Talinn, Estonia

 

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Tallinn’s UNESCO-protected old town has winding alleyways and medieval courtyards.

Our Day in Tallinn was like living a day back in Medieval Times.

Upper Town – Toompea
Lower Town – Hanseatic Trading Center

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea, is the country’s cultural hub. It retains its walled, cobblestoned Old Town, home to cafes and shops, as well as Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower. The city once consisted of two feuding medieval towns separated by a wall. The upper town—called Toompea—was the seat of government ruling Estonia. While the lower town was an autonomous Hanseatic trading center filled with German, Danish, and Swedish merchants who hired Estonians to do their menial labor.

The 15th-century Town Hall (Raekoda) dominates the square; it’s now a museum, and climbing its tower earns a commanding view. On the opposite side of the square, across from #12 in the corner, the pharmacy (Raeapteek) dates from 1422 and claims—as do many—to be Europe’s oldest. While it’s still a functioning pharmacy, the decor goes back to medieval times and welcomes guests with painted ceiling beams, English descriptions, and long-expired aspirin.


Its Gothic Town Hall, built in the 13th century and with a 64m-high tower, sits in lower town’s main square. Beyond the hill is the commanding Russian Orthodox Cathedral, as well as the pink palace known as Toompea Castle. 

It was such a small navigable complex that we left our senses free to take us anywhere. The day was at leisure, as we got lost and pleasantly discovered interesting things.

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