Tallinn’s Old Town, Part I

I knew absolutely nothing about Tallinn, Estonia, before I went there. I’d seen one photo of the old town on Flickr that make me think it might be interesting, but that’s all. What a lovely surprise this city was.

Tallinn is the capital and oldest city in Estonia. In 1285 the city, then known as “Reval,” became the northernmost member of the Hanseatic League. The city was walled with sixty-six towers.


We started our walking tour just outside Old Town, near this school:



I liked the way the tower was reflected in the windows of this building near the school.

Very quickly we made our way towards Old Town. Oh, I need to point out something: it was pretty challenging keeping up with our tour guide, listening to the history and taking photos. I was actually walking and taking photos at the same time, something I never do. It was frustrating at times to not have a minute to take shots I really wanted, but that’s the down side of a cruise. I knew this going in, but it was still a killer sometimes.


We had perfect weather. My good-weather karma continues, fortunately.

I loved the architecture and the pastel colors:





This is a cafe called Maiasmokk (“Sweet Tooth”), the oldest operational cafe in Tallinn. It has operated at the same location since 1864. Would have loved to try their pastries and coffee.


How beautiful are these doors?

The side streets looked pretty interesting too.




I never dreamed there would be block after block of buildings like these.


Talk about aging gracefully.

Soon we were in the Town Hall Square:


This may look like a church, but it’s actually the town hall. The last surviving Gothic Town Hall in Northern Europe. In 1364, it was called a playhouse (teatrum) and in 1372 a town hall (rathus). The tower looks wonky because I took this with my iPhone.

There was an outdoor market going on with all kinds of stuff for sale. People everywhere, but very polite.


More on Friday. 🙂


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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14 Responses to Tallinn’s Old Town, Part I

  1. susan says:

    Looks like a fairy tale village

  2. I think this is my first real look at Tallinn, with the exception of a postcard. All of the buildings look to be in excellent condition.
    Did you find any major language barriers?

    • We didn’t have to speak much in Estonia because we were there such a short time. A couple of the shopkeepers spoke very good English.
      Our guide in Helsinki said the Finnish language is very similar to Estonian, which surprised me. Finland is not really considered Scandinavia over there.
      All in all, the only place we encountered language problems was in Russia.

  3. What an amazing looking place….I never imagined Estonia to be as beautiful.

  4. Caroline says:

    I’m puzzled. Most of these photos could have been taken in the old town part of the town I live in. That’s such a surprise.
    I like the small old house best.

  5. joshi daniel says:

    nice buildings 🙂

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