The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were under Soviet domination as part of the USSR for many years. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, these countries became independent nations again. Estonia, indeed, is a member of the European Union and uses the Euro as its currency. Our stop in Tallinn was a delightful change of pace compared to the countries of Scandinavia, with a different ethnicity and a culture more like Russia. Tallinn has a small town flavor and its walled Old Town is positively charming.
We walked around the Old Town for hours, soaking up the lively and enchanting ambience. We entered the city at the Fat Margaret Gate.
The city is composed of two very different sections, an Upper Town (Toompea) which contains primarily government buildings and their accessory structures, and a Lower Town which was the home of the regular town folk, their shops and places of business. We spent most of our time in the Lower Town, especially on the Main Square.
The square is home to Tallinn’s Town Hall, now a museum and cafe where a delicious Elk Soup is served.
Nearby is the Holy Spirit Church, which required a nominal entry fee.
The altarpiece of the church is another carved, wooden work, done by an artist from Lubeck, Germany.
In the Upper Town, we marveled at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a holdover from Estonia’s Communist days.
Another feature of the Upper Town is the tallest tower in the city, Tall Herman.
The view of the Lower Town and its rooftops from Toompea is particularly good, from one of the popular overlooks.
The most charming feature of Tallinn is its well-preserved walls and towers. We stepped outside the Old Town to get a fantastic view of a beautiful section.