Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Old Town

Old Town © Neil Howard
Old Town © Neil Howard

Tallinn's historic centre is the focus for most visits to the city, and the hub of its major tourist attractions. The walled Old Town is divided into two parts: Toompea Hill, the residential area of the aristocracy and gentry in days of yore, and the Lower Town. Much of the Old Town dates back to the 10th century and is extremely well preserved, its powerful stone buildings enduring despite frequent invasions over the centuries. Visitors will revel in Town Hall Square and its adjacent pharmacy, which operates on the site it has occupied since 1422. The Old Town is also full of historic churches, like St Olav's - perhaps the tallest church in Medieval Europe. The area's walls and its many fortresses made up one of the strongest defence systems in northern Europe by the 16th century, though today, the dominating landmark on Toompea is the magnificent Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral. History lovers should note that the Old Town's medieval atmosphere is particularly evident in St Catherine's passage, where visitors can stroll past the open studios of artists and craftsmen who have laboured here for centuries.

Address: Tourist Information Centre, Niguliste 2/Kullassepa 4, in the centre of the Old Town