Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#TravelTips | Tallinn City Walls Walk, Estonia

Another UNESCO site checked.
Tallinn Old City in Estonia. The Dancing Eesti.

Gaining popularity from travelers visiting Scandinavian countries, Estonia is merely 2 hours ferry ride from Helsinki, 16 hours from Stockholm and one can also travel overland from St. Petersberg, Riga and practically everywhere. 

We decided to circle the whole town and walk along 'the great wall of Tallinn', and later walk around its medieval town. It was certainly pleasant and fun while embracing the history. I have also shared some tips at the end to ease those who wishes to visit Estonia.

Historical background
Estonia was eventually occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, only to be conquered by Nazi Germany (1941-44) and then retaken by the Soviets. In World War II, the city was quite extensively bombed by the Soviets, although luckily the medieval town remains. The Soviet Union undertook a program of massive Slavic migration, and just over 40% of Tallinn's current inhabitants are Slavic (compared to an average of 28% for the entire country). On Aug 20, 1991, Estonia declared independence and Tallinn became its capital once again.

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Viru Gate

26 towers out of 45 still remains todate, guarding the city of Tallinn, Estonia. One prominent and best preserved of them all (and also the closest to my hostel) is Viru Gate. 

Viru Gate from the outside.

Stalls selling winter attire.

Hellemann Tower
Named after Laurentius van der Helle, this is the oldest sections of Tallinn's city wall and was the largest and strongest defence systems in the entire Northern Europe for 3 centuries.

Time : 1st May  - 30th Sept - 09:00am - 7:00pm. 1st Oct – 30th April - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Entrance Fee : €3

View of Tallinn Old Town.

Climb up the tower to get the Tallinn Old Town view.

Great Coastal Gate and Fat Margaret's Tower
Still a mystery to the locals on how the tower got its name  - Fat Margaret's Tower. There were saying that it was named after one of its larger cannons aside from the story of a person called Margaret who once worked here. Having said that, it was used as a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons as well as a prison before. Today, it has been transformed to an Estonian Maritime Museum.

Time : 10:00am - 06:00pm (close on Monday)
Entrance Fee : Adult €5, Family ticket €10, University student €3, School student €3

Wooden Stairs Tower
Found this unique tower with a wooden stairs at the side, however it is not open for public. Anyone who knows the name of this tower, please share with me *smile*.

Destroyed wall.

Köismäe Tower

The surviving five storey stone defense towers built in 1360 are still in existence todate, now they are stamped in many Estonia coffee table books, travel sites and postcards – a picture perfect of the Tallinn medieval town.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Tallinn’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is dedicated to the Virgin with Three Hands.  The Virgin is the protector of all living beings who have been falsely accused or unjustly persecuted. She also protects those who have suffered innocently, without cause. 

The church fuses together both Catholic and Orthodox religious traditions and is subject to the authority of the Pope. From Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church website.

One of the many walls.

Kiek in de Kök or Peek into the Kitchen Tower
The story behind its name is that back during medieval period, the guards joked around that they could see through the chimney hole and into the kitchens of the houses below, thus Kiek in de Kök or Peek into the Kitchen came about. It is famous for the hidden tunnels (Bastion tunnels) that run underneath the old bastions of Toompea hill. They have also opened a café for traverls to sip a cup of coffee while enjoying the great views of the upper town Toompea and the harbour.

Opening hours : Close on Monday

Entrance Fee : Adult €4.50, Child €2.60, Family €9.00 (FREE with Tallinn card)

Maiden’s Tower
This tower have been converted into a museum, exhibition hall and café, traveler can visit the tower, enjoy the great medieval old town view with a cup of jo. Maiden's Tower is located on a higher ground and I find it extremely beautiful at sunset and during the blue hour.

There is a tale saying that the tower was used as a prison for prostitutes and that it is supposedly haunted by the spirits of the prostitutes who were once imprisoned.

#TravelTips 1 : You can walk the whole city, probably takes you half a day.

#TravelTips 2 : If you wish to check-out their museums inside the Tallinn Old Town, the price is very much reasonable. Best to allocate one full day for this.

#TravelTips 3 : There is many ways to enjoy the old town, either museums visit, walls city walks or theater watching. Whichever to one's preferences.

#TravelTips 4 : Souvenirs here are cheap and can been found everywhere.

#TravelTips 5 : The locals are superbly friendly and helpful. Ask away if lost despite that I personally think it is very hard to get lost in this small and quaint old town *wink*.

#TravelTips 6. Try to capture the blue hour in some of your sunsets photographs. It is truly beautiful.

Together but alone.

1 comment:

Ramses II Junior said...

Wooden Stairs Tower :
This is Plate Tower, constructed between 1401-1410.
Its name refers to the towermaster Herbord Plate.
See :
You can check the view from street level using Google Street View :
59°26'28.45"N 24°44'43.25"E

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