"Mediaeval streets" Old Town Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Old Town, Tallinn: 38 reviews and 116 photos
Although many of the buildings in Tallinn's Old Town date no further back than the 19th century, there are more than enough mediaeval buildings lining the narrow twists and turns of the cobbled streets for the town to qualify as one of Europe's most intact mediaeval cities. Years spent as a quiet backwater to the great powers that ruled it were followed by more years of Soviet neglect ... all to the little city on the Baltic's advantage as it happened. Just like a Sleeping Beauty locked away behind those walls and towers, Tallinn emerged from the years of isolation to find herself possessed of a treasure untouched by 20th century development, needing little more than a few licks of paint and some modern plumbing to take her place as one of the most attractive destinations in Europe.
The maze of narrow streets beg to be explored, taking you past lovely buildings, great old doorways , courtyards and passages ... leading where?, churches, shops full of amber, knitwear and other tourist trinkets.
Look out for the splendid green and red door of the rather bizarrely named Brotherhood of the Blackheads ( a club for Baltic bachelors -whose intellectual patronage of the arts was punctuated by a penchant for wild carousing and partying) - the last Renaissance facade in the city (Pikk26), pretty St Catherine's Passage (Katariina kaik) next to the 13th century Dominican monastery (Tallinn's oldest building) and the Applied Arts Museum, housed in a an old storehouse and powder magazine (Lai 17). More recent, and more sinister, is the building at Pikk 59 - now the Interior Ministry Building, it was the headquarters of the NKDV (KGB) - a use acknowledged by a simple wall plaque.
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