Tallinn, Estonia is brimming with tradition, art and history. This world of intrigue for all travelers emerged as a trading post along Tallinn Bay in ca 950. A citadel was built on Toompea Hill. Today, Toompea Hill continues to house the Estonian Parliament in Toompea Castle. Through the centuries Estonians have endured the rule of Danes, Swedes, Czarist Russia and more recently, German and Russian occupation. All have influenced the eclectic architectural mosaic that weaves an intricate tapestry throughout the city. In 2011, Tallinn, Estonia was named the European Capital of Culture ensuring the preservation of historical locations.
Today, Tallinn (once known as Revalia) is a symbol of the strength, resilience and courage of the Estonian people. The medieval period is preserved in the culture and traditions reflected in Vana Linn (Old Town). The Tallinn TV Tower and the Viru Hotel are among many modern additions to a vibrant city filled with palaces, medieval towers and historic churches.
Experience a taste of Estonian hospitality and stay at a pleasant Bed and Breakfast called Poska Villa. This quaint guesthouse offers excellent lodging at a reasonable price. After a good breakfast, take a short walk to Narva Maantee (a main road), where you can catch a tram or bus to Vana Linn (Old Town). A short stroll in the opposite direction leads visitors to Kadriorg Park and the Pirita district.
Kadriorg is a pleasant seaside district a short distance from the city center. The park is adorned with age-old oak and chestnut trees that enhance the tranquil Swan Pond and fountain. In 1714 the Russian Czar Peter the First purchased the estate as his private residence. In 1718, Peter the Great had Italian architect, Niccolo Michetti design a northern Baroque palace for his wife Catherine 1.
The beautiful Kadriorg Palace, with exquisite gardens and additional estate buildings is also home to an impressive art collection. The Art Museum of Estonia presents an outstanding display of 16th to 20th century paintings and sculptures created by Western and Russian artists.
In 1918, a presidential chancellery was built near the palace. The “New Palace” was designed in harmony with the original Kadriorg Palace and is the residence of the President of the Republic of Estonia. Visitors to Kadriorg Palace should allow enough time to tour the palace, stroll the gardens and visit the personal cabin, built for Peter the Great, located on the hill behind the “New Palace”.
While strolling through Kadriorg Park visitors can catch a glimpse of the dramatic Russalka monument. Located at the beginning of Pirita Road, the statuesque Russalka was built in 1902 to honor those who perished during a storm in 1893. A Russian ironclad (named Russalka ) was traveling from Tallinn to Helsinki and sank in the waters near Tallinn.
“Russalka” in Russian means “mermaid”. The bronze figure of an angel is posed atop a granite pedestal and holds a gilded cross. The Estonian sculptor, Amandus Adamson, positioned the monument so the gilded cross would point in the direction where the tragedy occurred. A compass is located at the foot of the monument which is surrounded by low columns and chains. A tradition for many newlywed Russian-speaking couples is to lay flowers at Russalka and place a padlock (with their names engraved on it) on the chains, as a symbol of their eternal love.
Amidst the history of the district, visitors can also enjoy the Tallinn Olympic Yachting Center, the Tallinn Botanical Garden and the Tallinn TV Tower. With so much to see and do in Tallinn, plan your trip with the help of the friendly staff at the Tallinn City Tourist Office and Convention Bureau.
Before you begin to explore Tallinn, be sure to get a Tallinn Card. This is a cost-effective way to explore Tallinn on your own. The card is accepted in almost 100 locations and allows easy entry into many historic churches and museums.
Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau
Address: Vabaduse vȁljak 7
15199 Tallinn, Estonia
Fax: + 372-601-3754
Address: Jaan Poska 15
10 126 Tallinn, Estonia
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