What you shouldn't miss in Tallinn

Trip Start Aug 26, 2005
Trip End Sep 07, 2005

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Some of the sights you shouldn't miss

- Dominican Monastery (Dominiiklaste klooster) : One of Tallinn's oldest existing building is this monastery founded 1246;

- Holy Spirit Church (Püha Vaimu kirik) : This awe-inspiring, 13th-century church adjacent Town Hall Square sports an impressive Baroque tower as well as an ornate, outdoor clock that's said to be one of the most photographed objects in Tallinn;

- Town Fortifications : The city of Tallinn has been under siege or threat of siege for most of its history, spurring near-constant reinforcement of the town walls. With 46 towers, medieval Tallinn was known as 'one of the most fortified burgs in all Northern Europe'. Today 1.85km of the original city wall and 20 towers survive, a few serving as museums such as Fat Margaret's tower and Kiek in de Kök;

- Town Hall (Raekoda) : Tallinn's civic life has been centred here at the southern edge of Town Hall Square since 1341, but the imposing Gothic building of today dates to 1404. Old Thomas, the weather vane who symbolises Tallinn, has been keeping watch since 1530;

- Town Hall Pharmacy (Raeapteek): One of the oldest continuously running pharmacies in Europe is on Town Hall Square. No one knows exactly when it opened, but records show that the Raeapteek was already on its third owner in 1422;

- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral : Toompea's dominating landmark is the Russian Orthodox cathedral named for the duke who attacked southeastern Estonia and Pskov in the early 13th century. Tsar Alexander III ordered the cathedral designed in 1894 by St. Petersburg master Mikhail Preobrzhensky and it was completed in 1900;

- Kiek in de Kök (Peep into the Kitchen): Built 1475 - 1481, this 45m, six-storey cannon tower played a key role in the Livonian War and still has nine of Ivan IV's cannonballs embedded in its walls to prove it. Medieval soldiers joked that from its top, they could see right into the kitchens of the houses below - hence the odd name;

- View platforms : The Kohtuotsa and Patkuli view platforms are usually the first place that tourists want to see when they visit Tallinn. From here, sweeping views of the town, its red-tiled roofs, its towers, its walls and all of its charm open up. Get your camera ready.
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