Tallinn

Description

Tallinn 

Tallinn (/ˈtɑːlɪn/, Estonian pronunciation: [ˈtɑlʲˑinˑ])[citation needed] is the capital and largest city of Estonia.

Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) and has a population of 435,245. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland.

The city was known as Reval from the 13th century until 1918 and again during the Nazi occupation of Estonia from 1941 to 1944.

Approximately 32% of Estonia's total population lives in Tallinn.

Toponymy

Historical names

In 1154, a town called Qlwn or Qalaven (possible derivations of Kalevan or Kolyvan) was put on the world map of the Almoravid by the Arab cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, who described it as a small town like a large castle among the towns of Astlanda. It has been suggested that the Quwri in Astlanda may have denoted the predecessor town of today's Tallinn.

The lesser coat of arms of Tallinn is also the coat of arms of Harju County and depicts the Dannebrog cross.

The earliest names of Tallinn include big red castle (Russian: Колывань) known from East Slavic chronicles, the name possibly deriving from the Estonian mythical hero Kalev,

Up to the 13th century, the Scandinavians and Henry of Livonia in his chronicle called the town Lindanisa: Lyndanisse in Danish, Lindanäs in Swedish, also mentioned as Ledenets in Old East Slavic. According to some theories the name derived from mythical Linda, the wife of Kalev and the mother of Kalevipoeg. who in an Estonian legend carried rocks to her husband's grave that formed the Toompea hill.

It has been also suggested that in the context the meaning of linda in the archaic Estonian language, that is similar to lidna in Votic, had the same meaning as linna or linn later on meaning a castle or town in English. According to the suggestion nisa would have had the same meaning as niemi (meaning peninsula in English) in an old Finnish form of the name Kesoniemi.

Other than Kesoniemi known ancient historical names of Tallinn in Finnish include Rääveli. The Icelandic Njal's saga mentions Tallinn and calls it Rafala, which is a variant of the name Raphael.

After the Danish conquest in 1219, the town became known in the German, Swedish and Danish languages as Reval (Latin: Revalia). The name originated from (Latin) Revelia (Estonian) Revala or Rävala, the adjacent ancient name of the surrounding Estonian county.

Modern name

The origin of the name "Tallinn(a)" is certain to be Estonian, although the original meaning of the name is debated. It is usually thought to be derived from, Tallide-linn (meaning the City of Stables) or "Taani-linn(a)" (meaning "Danish-castle/town"; Latin: Castrum Danorum) after the Danes built the castle in place of the Estonian stronghold at Lindanisse. However, it could also have come from "tali-linna" ("winter-castle/town"), or "talu-linna" ("house/farmstead-castle/town"). The element -linna, like Germanic -burg and Slavic -grad / -gorod, originally meant "fortress" but is used as a suffix in the formation of town names.

The previously used official German name About this sound Reval  (Ревель) was replaced after Estonia became independent in 1918–1920. At first both forms Tallinna and Tallinn were used. The United States Board on Geographic Names adopted the form Tallinn between June 1923 and June 1927. The form Tallinna appearing in modern times in Estonian denotes the genitive case of the name, as in Tallinna Reisisadam (Port of Tallinn).

In Russian, the name was spelt Таллин (Tallin) during the Soviet era, and this spelling is still officially sanctioned by the Russian government, while Estonian authorities use the spelling Таллинн in Russian-language publications since the restoration of independence. The form Таллин is also used in several other languages using the Cyrillic script. Due to the Russian spelling, the form Tallin is sometimes found in international publications; it is also the official form in Spanish.

Other variations of modern spellings include Tallinna in Finnish, Tallina in Latvian and Talinas in Lithuanian.

History

The first traces of human settlement found in Tallinn's city center by archeologists are about 5,000 years old. The comb ceramic pottery found on the site dates to about 3000 BC and corded ware pottery c. 2500 BC.

The Danish flag falling from the sky in the 1219 Battle of Lyndanisse.
Seal of Reval, 1340

In 1050, the first fortress was built on Tallinn Toompea.

As an important port for trade between Russia and Scandinavia, it became a target for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights and the Kingdom of Denmark during the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century when Christianity was forcibly imposed on the local population. Danish rule of Tallinn and Northern Estonia started in 1219.

In 1285, the city, then known as Reval, became the northernmost member of the Hanseatic League – a mercantile and military alliance of German-dominated cities in Northern Europe. The Danes sold Reval along with their other land possessions in northern Estonia to the Teutonic Knights in 1346. Medieval Reval enjoyed a strategic position at the crossroads of trade between Western and Northern Europe and Russia. The city, with a population of 8,000, was very well fortified with city walls and 66 defence towers.

A weather vane, the figure of an old warrior called Old Thomas, was put on top of the spire of the Tallinn Town Hall in 1530 that became the symbol for the city.

With the start of the Protestant Reformation the German influence became even stronger as the city was converted to Lutheranism. In 1561, Reval politically became a dominion of Sweden.

During the Great Northern War, plague stricken Tallinn along with Swedish Estonia and Livonia capitulated to Imperial Russia in 1710, but the local self-government institutions (Magistracy of Reval and Chivalry of Estonia) retained their cultural and economical autonomy within Imperial Russia as the Governorate of Estonia. The Magistracy of Reval was abolished in 1889. The 19th century brought industrialization of the city and the port kept its importance. During the last decades of the century Russification measures became stronger.

On 24 February 1918, the Independence Manifesto was proclaimed in Reval, soon to be Tallinn, followed by Imperial German occupation and a war of independence with Russia. On 2 February 1920, the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed with Soviet Russia, wherein Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic. Tallinn became the capital of an independent Estonia. After World War II started, Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1940, and later occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944. After the Nazi retreat in 1944, it was again annexed by the USSR. After annexation into the Soviet Union, Tallinn became the capital of the Estonian SSR.

During the 1980 Summer Olympics, the sailing (then known as yachting) events were held at Pirita, north-east of central Tallinn. Many buildings, such as the "Olümpia" hotel, the new Main Post Office building, and the Regatta Centre, were built for the Olympics.

In August 1991, an independent democratic Estonian state was re-established and a period of quick development to a modern European capital ensued. Tallinn became the capital of a de facto independent country once again on 20 August 1991.

Tallinn has historically consisted of three parts:

  • The Toompea (Domberg) or "Cathedral Hill", which was the seat of the central authority: first the Danish captains, then the komturs of the Teutonic Order, and Swedish and Russian governors. It was until 1877 a separate town (Dom zu Reval), the residence of the aristocracy; it is today the seat of the Estonian parliament, government and some embassies and residencies.
  • The Old Town, which is the old Hanseatic town, the "city of the citizens", was not administratively united with Cathedral Hill until the late 19th century. It was the centre of the medieval trade on which it grew prosperous.
  • The Estonian town forms a crescent to the south of the Old Town, where the Estonians came to settle. It was not until the mid-19th century that ethnic Estonians replaced the local Baltic Germans as the majority among the residents of Tallinn.

The city of Tallinn has never been razed and pillaged;[citation needed] that was the fate of Tartu, the university town 200 km (124 mi) south, which was pillaged in 1397 by the Teutonic Order. Around 1524 Catholic churches in many towns in Estonia, including Tallinn, were pillaged as part of the Reformational fervor: this occurred throughout Europe. Although extensively bombed by Soviet air forces during the later stages of World War II, much of the medieval Old Town still retains its charm. The Tallinn Old Town (including Toompea) became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997.

At the end of the 15th century a new 159 m (521.65 ft) high Gothic spire was built for St. Olaf's Church. Between 1549 and 1625 it may have been the tallest building in the world. After several fires and following rebuilding, its overall height is now 123 m (403.54 ft).

Toompea Castle (Toompea loss)
Panorama of the central Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats)
Old Town of Tallinn

Geography

Panorama of Tallinn's City Centre

Tallinn is situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, in north-western Estonia.

The largest lake in Tallinn is Lake Ülemiste (9.44 km2 (3.6 sq mi)). It is the main source of the city's drinking water. Lake Harku is the second largest lake within the borders of Tallinn and its area is 1.6 square kilometres (0.6 sq mi). Tallinn does not lie on a major river. The only significant river in Tallinn is Pirita River in Pirita, a city district counted as a suburb. Historically, the small Härjapea River flowed from Lake Ülemiste through the town into the sea, but the river was diverted for sewage in the 1930s and has since completely disappeared from the cityscape. References to it still remain in the street names Jõe (from Jõgi, river) and Kivisilla (from Kivisild, stone bridge).

A limestone cliff runs through the city. It can be seen at Toompea, Lasnamäe and Astangu. However, Toompea is not a part of the cliff, but a separate hill.

The highest point in Tallinn, at 64 meters above sea level, is situated in Hiiu, Nõmme District, in the south-west of the city.

The length of the coast is 46 kilometres (29 miles). It comprises three bigger peninsulas: Kopli peninsula, Paljassaare peninsula and Kakumäe peninsula.

Administrative districts

District Area Population
1. Haabersti 18.6 km2 (7.2 sq mi) 42,839
2. Kesklinn (centre) 28.0 km2 (10.8 sq mi) 52,820
3. Kristiine 9.4 km2 (3.6 sq mi) 30,274
4. Lasnamäe 30.0 km2 (11.6 sq mi) 116,490
5. Mustamäe 8.0 km2 (3.1 sq mi) 64,425
6. Nõmme 28.0 km2 (10.8 sq mi) 39,049
7. Pirita 18.7 km2 (7.2 sq mi) 17,019
8. Põhja-Tallinn 17.3 km2 (6.7 sq mi) 56,914

For local government purposes, Tallinn is subdivided into 8 administrative districts (Estonian: linnaosad, singular linnaosa). The district governments are city institutions that fulfill, in the territory of their district, the functions assigned to them by Tallinn legislation and statutes.

Each district government is managed by an Elder (Estonian: linnaosavanem). He or she is appointed by the City Government on the nomination of the Mayor and after having heard the opinion of the Administrative Councils. The function of the Administrative Councils is to recommend, to the City Government and Commissions of the City Council, how the districts should be administered.

Tourism

St. Olaf's Church may have been the tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625

What can arguably be considered to be Tallinn's main attractions are located in the old town of Tallinn (divided into a "lower town" and Toompea hill) which is easily explored on foot. The eastern parts of the city, notably Pirita (with Pirita Convent) and Kadriorg (with Kadriorg Palace) districts, are also popular destinations, and the Estonian Open Air Museum in Rocca al Mare, west of the city, preserves aspects of Estonian rural culture and architecture.

Toompea – Upper Town

This area was once an almost separate town, heavily fortified, and has always been the seat of whatever power that has ruled Estonia. The hill occupies an easily defensible site overlooking the surrounding districts. The major attractions is the medieval Toompea Castle (today housing the Estonian Parliament, the Riigikogu), the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Lutheran St Mary's Cathedral, also known as the Dome Church (Estonian: Toomkirik).

All-linn – Lower Town

This area is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and the authorities are continuing its rehabilitation. Major sights include the Town Hall square (Estonian: Raekoja plats ), the city wall and towers (notably "Fat Margaret" and "Kiek in de Kök") as well as a number of medieval churches, including St Olaf's, St. Nicholas' and the Church of the Holy Ghost.

Kadriorg

This is 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) east of the city centre and is served by buses and trams. Kadriorg Palace, the former palace of Peter the Great, built just after the Great Northern War, now houses the foreign art department of the Art Museum of Estonia, the presidential residence and the surrounding grounds include formal gardens and woodland.

The main building of the Art Museum of Estonia, Kumu (Estonian: Kunstimuuseum, Art Museum), was built in 2006 and lies in Kadriorg park. It houses an encyclopaedic collection of Estonian art, including paintings by Carl Timoleon von Neff, Johann Köler, Eduard Ole, Jaan Koort, Konrad Mägi, Eduard Wiiralt, Henn Roode and Adamson-Eric, among others.

Pirita

This coastal district is a further 2 kilometres north-east of Kadriorg. The marina was built for the Moscow Olympics of 1980, and boats can be hired on the Pirita River. Two kilometres inland are the Botanic Gardens and the Tallinn TV Tower.

Music culture

Tallinn has a few music venues for live music such as Kultuurikatel/Kanala, Ptarmigan, Tapper, EKKM – Museum and nightlife, DM Baar. Yearly festivals like Tallinn Music Week and Stalker Festival take place.

Transport

City transport

The city operates a system of bus (64 lines), tram (4 lines) and trolley-bus (7 lines) routes to all districts. A flat-fare system is used. The ticket-system is based on prepaid RFID cards available in kiosks and post offices. Starting from January 2013 public transport for citizens registered to live in Tallinn is completely free. That includes buses, trams and trolleybuses, and also the rail services within city limits.

Air

The Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is about 4 kilometres (2 miles) from Town Hall square (Raekoja plats). There is a local bus connection between the airport and the edge of the city centre (bus no. 2). The nearest railway station Ülemiste is only 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the airport.

The construction of the new section of the airport began in 2007 and was finished in summer 2008.

There has been a helicopter service to and from Helsinki operated by Copterline and taking 18 minutes to cross the Gulf of Finland. The Copterline Tallinn terminal is located adjacent to Linnahall, five minutes from the city center. After a crash near Tallinn in August 2005, service was suspended but restarted in 2008 with a new fleet. The operator cancelled it again in December 2008, on grounds of unprofitability. On 15 February 2010, Copterline filed for bankruptcy, citing inability to keep the company profitable. In 2011 Copterline started again operating the Tallinn-Helsinki flights.

Ferry

Several ferry operators, Viking Line, Linda Line Express, Tallink and Eckerö Line, connect Tallinn to Helsinki, Mariehamn, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg. Passenger lines connect Tallinn to Helsinki (83 km (52 mi) north of Tallinn) in approximately 2–3.5 hours by cruiseferries.

Railroad

The Elron railway company operates train services from Tallinn to Tartu, Valga, Türi, Viljandi, Tapa, Narva, Orava, Koidula and Pärnu. Buses are also available to all these and various other destinations in Estonia, as well as to Saint Petersburg in Russia and Riga, Latvia. The Go Rail company operates a daily international sleeper train service between Tallinn-Moscow.

Tallinn also has a commuter rail service running from Tallinn's main rail station in two main directions: east (Aegviidu) and to several western destinations (Pääsküla, Keila, Riisipere, Paldiski, Klooga and Kloogaranna). These are electrified lines and are used by the Elron railroad company. Stadler FLIRT EMU and DMU units are in service since July 2013. The first electrified train service in Tallinn was opened in 1924 from Tallinn to Pääsküla, a distance of 11.2 km (7.0 mi).

The Rail Baltica project, which will link Tallinn with Warsaw via Latvia and Lithuania, will connect Tallinn with the rest of the European rail network. A tunnel has been proposed between Tallinn and Helsinki, though it remains at a planning phase.

The Via Baltica motorway (part of European route E67 from Helsinki to Prague) connects Tallinn to the Lithuanian/Polish border through Latvia.

Frequent and affordable long-distance bus routes connect Tallinn with other parts of Estonia.

On 9 October 2013, the 320-meter-long Ülemiste tunnel was first opened.

Photo (11)

Eesti Pank, building from 1904 TallinnопераТаллин, 1987ТаллинEstonia. Tallinn (Reval). Theater areal. The Estonia Opera house. ... From the Solaris Tower.BankTallinn, EstlandTallninden bir manzaraБанк Эстонии (Eesti Pank); 30.08.201220.01.2012, TallinnTallinn

Video (1)

Street view

Reviews

tourist
23.08.2017 Paul
Authentic, interesting and trendy European capital
tourist
20.07.2017 Gustavo
Wonderfull city, lote of things to ser. The old Towner is Very nice
tourist
17.05.2017 LekVIP
Nice old town. Good for one day trip
tourist
07.05.2017 Stefano
Gotta love this city!
tourist
02.01.2017 Darya
??? chic New year
tourist
19.12.2016 Leon
Probably best areanin talinn great xmas market
tourist
28.10.2016 Petros
Loved it! The old city with narrow paths is so nice and picturesque!
tourist
13.10.2016 Cenker
Centre of the centre! Try to find the statue which looks like the Witch King of Angmar :)
tourist
09.10.2016 N
Beautiful interesting city. Tallensi nice people.?
tourist
14.09.2016 Cenker
Medieval buildings intact, with medieval music playing in every corner, delicious food & with venison, and cheerful, with people I love the most of the Baltic city!
tourist
23.08.2016 Victor
From the Baltic States Tallinn, in my opinion, the cutest and cozy.
tourist
21.08.2016 Sergey
Loved the city !!!!!
tourist
17.07.2016 Mihail
Very interesting to walk the streets of the old town
tourist
20.06.2016 Louise
Breathtaking capital of Estonia
tourist
20.06.2016 Louise
Centre of Tallinn
tourist
17.06.2016 Sverker
Where to start in Tallinn.
tourist
04.04.2016 T
The old city is to walk half a day even if you turn the scale on. However, in Fairyland, what live tired even not thick. Cobblestone foot quite damaging to shoes, the choice of attention!
tourist
17.12.2015 Tero
Fun city, plenty to do and see...
tourist
10.10.2015 Wagner
Both the old and new cities are very nice and amazing. In the old town, visit the two districts, Vanalinn and Toompea. But also be sure to visit Kadriorg Palace and its park and the Rotermann Quarter!
tourist
13.09.2015 Dave
One of the best cities to visit in Europe. Amazing
tourist
30.07.2015 Nilgun
A delicious dish from Lido Restaurant in Talinn
tourist
25.07.2015 Rue
The old city is where many of the alleys on each taste. Helsinki day trip from tourism, there is additional room for 1 night.
tourist
14.07.2015 D
Clean and small city
tourist
29.06.2015 Anna
Very beautiful cosy town with a long history, many places to visit,stunning vana Tallinn)))
tourist
06.05.2015 Valeriya
It is very romantic to wander the streets of the old town
tourist
05.03.2015 Andrei
Autorent Tallinnas pakub www.car24rent.ee
tourist
07.12.2014 Fernando
Go to the viewpoint on St. Nicolas' tower. Kumu museum. Old Town hall.
tourist
06.12.2014 7161440
Very beautiful and comfortable city! Wish happiness and love to the local residents that keep and contain the city!
tourist
17.11.2014 Cobra
Medieval old town of the best I've seen
tourist
02.11.2014 Jordi
Architecture, environment, light, coffee
tourist
27.08.2014 Ilkan
Ox statue is sitting on the bench :)
tourist
26.08.2014 Olesya
Always glad to be back! More of the sun )))
tourist
20.08.2014 Tommaso
Torri and nougat
tourist
11.08.2014 Vera
A city where people want to live and walk. The old city is compact and interesting architecture, a lot of viewpoints and narrow streets, suddenly gone in the opposite direction.
tourist
05.07.2014 kazuki
Half day sightseeing of famous places to watch once. thats︎ Helsinki from morning 7:30, ferry at, 16:30, (Helsinki 18:30) return to schedule.
01.07.2014 Omer
From beginning to end 2 hours after landing from the roof of the historic town dolasilasi
19.06.2014 Evgeniya
Beautiful Old town, is quite compact and authentic. Loved
28.03.2014 Oleksii
The old town is particularly lovely in Sunny weather
tourist
28.03.2014 Oleksii
Just fine :)
tourist
17.01.2014 Vladislav
Awesome city with cool architecture, really want to come back here again! For a long time so relax!
tourist
07.01.2014 Julia
Very small, comfortable, clean. Many open WiFi networks, a lot of beer and food. The city is not singing and dancing, the clubs only in Sat and Sun. The local youth very little. TaxFree from 38 €. 1 day little, 3 gives lots
tourist
07.01.2014 Max
Mulled wine, sauerkraut, sausages, beer...beautiful city!!! The walk is a pleasure.
tourist
06.01.2014 Daniel
Beautiful streets and landmarks and lovely little markets and shops. Make sure to walk the the top of old town and enjoy the view. I wish the Russians were friendlier though...
tourist
05.01.2014 Evgeniy
Lol , I liked it !
tourist
04.01.2014 Elina
Good without live. There are many normal places in the outgoing of the evening. Good louge is also
tourist
02.12.2013 Oleg
Fine city!
tourist
07.11.2013 Ekaterina
Loved it! Ever want to visit :)
tourist
23.10.2013 Laura
Best city? I do not agree. 80% don ' t know how to leave from here.. Actually, it says the one who apparently never went beyond Estonia... take a Trip to Italy, or to the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg.
tourist
11.10.2013 Yavuz
It's small, but a place to be seen.. ;) today, Estonia-Turkey match, I see Turkish at any time, everywhere, we're everywhere, I think.. ;))
tourist
16.09.2013 Sophie
Unexpectedly beautiful capital city with nice architecture and random street art
Share your experiences, help others make the right choice!
Think about what you would like to know if you were looking for a review about a place to relax. Please describe in detail what you liked and what you didn't. What would you advise to other guests and to the hotel owner. The more fully you tell about the hotel, the easier it will be for other people to make a choice and they will be very grateful to you!

Map

Maps
  • Open Street Maps
  • Roads
  • Satellite
  • Hybrid
  • Public
  • Public+Satellite
  • Roads
  • Satellite
Layers
  • Traffic
  • Wikipedia