Explore objects in Old Tallinn

Culture Wolf

Fat Margaret and The Great Coastal Gate Audio

I am the most famous landmark among the towers of our city. I do not remain unnoticed for those approaching from the sea.

Kiek In De Kök Audio

I am the most famous and tallest defensive tower in the city as well as the first that was built according to the demands of the era of firearms. 

Laboratory Street Audio

I am a street along the edge of the west side city wall, like the Müürivahe Street, on the other side of the city, on the edge of the eastern defensive wall. 

Section of wall on Müürivahe street Audio

There was a defensive passage along the wall beside me, where in the Middle Ages milled about black monks and preachers, whose teachings were beneficial to the city folk, in many ways.

Tall Hermann Audio

It took close to one and a half centuries to await my completion, when in 1219 the Danish King brought into swing the construction of the city, here in the current Toompea, Tallinn (Reval). The wait was worth it! I am a flag tower, the most important one in the city and tower above all. My height is more than 80 metres, if you include the escarpment base and the height above sea level is more than 90 metres. There is no similar in the vicinity and hopefully also not further away. It is true that thanks to the expansion of the city, the current highest point in Tallinn, is now located in Nõmme!

The Assauwe Tower Audio

In days gone by, city people used to live together with their prized livestock, animals were a part of daily life. Not just living with cats and dogs, like today, but people lived with horses, cows, pigs, and other domestic animals. Animals were of vital importance. In warmer periods, the animals would leave the city each day to head to the pastures – and they moved along the wall through the Herd Gate. The towers of the Herd Gate were my good neighbours until they were demolished in the 19th century. It is believed that I was named after the shepherd, Assauwe or Asso. He might have even been an Estonian.

The Bremen Tower and Passage Audio

I am the Bremen Tower. I am not named after northern German city but named after a resident – who was also known as Bremer.

The Epping Tower Audio

I was built in the 1370s, during one of the fastest and longest booms of tower construction in the city. At least a dozen, if not more, defensive towers were completed during this period. At that time in history, in Livonia, there was danger and uncertainty in the air. However, my Hanseatic town of Reval was growing and gaining wealth.

The Golden Leg Tower Audio

I am an old tower from the Danish period. I was probably positioned here already in the years 1311–1320, as an important corner tower for the west wall of the city.

The Hellemann Tower Audio

I am the younger of the neighbouring towers – the Tower Behind the Monks and the one time grand Viru Gate complex, of which only a couple of foregate towers remain, these are at least a half a century older.

The Hinke Tower Audio

Hinke, Hinken, Hincken, Hindrik, Henken … – throughout the centuries, my name has been spelled in many ways. Be it as it may – with my name – a tricky name to spell, my neighbour who disappeared almost a hundred years ago, was called Devil’s Mother or Devil’s Grandmother (Duveldoer, Tuefels-Grossmutter). It was actually derived from the name of the building owner, Johannes Duvelsmoder! My name is also believed to have been given to me after the name of a person – a city servant and stable boy who lived nearby.

The Loewenschede Tower Audio

I was probably the first rampart, four storey tower in the lower town. I received my name after the alderman Winant Louenschede, who directed the construction of the defensive structures in this section of the wall. 

The Long Leg Gate Tower Audio

In the olden days, it was thought that Long Leg had previously functioned as a road. This is most likely not the case. Ancient Estonians reached the top of the uplands from where today the Toompea Road rises from the Charles’ Church and Long Leg which was initially narrower and steeper and it became became a road to drive up or down.

The Maiden tower Audio

I have been called the Meghed Tower since the 14th century, in the depths of history, which is believed to have resulted from the name of the construction master, Hinze Meghed or from the rural language word “mägede” (mountain). I was erected on the so-called short hill (mons brevis), right next to the long mountain (mons longhi), which at that time was known as a unified rise beside the contemporary Tõnismägi and Toompea. The street names Short Leg for pedestrians, as well as Long Leg for horses and later for carriages, were derived from the short and long hill.

The Monastery Gate and Wall Walkway Audio

I am called the Monastery Gate (Klosterpforte), as well as the Great Monastery Gate or even as the New Nun’s Gate, but I actually could by right and honour bear the name of Wilhelm Neumann’s Gate. 

The Nun’s Tower Audio

Although I am very old tower, already built at the beginning of the 14th century, my name was lost at some point during the Middle-Ages, It was only in 1738 that the name “Cyster-Thurm” or “The Nun’s Tower” was used for the first time.

The Patkuli Steps Audio

Many glances are at first directed to this location, to the pillars of the Stenbock Building, then the stairs, in addition to being a beautiful sight, offer the experience of participation to those who make the only justifiable decision to climb. After all, the Stenbock Building has since long ago, been the house of the Government – so only those selected have access to it. I was completed in the year 1903. Strolling was popular at the beginning of the 20th century, as it was possible in such a way to see others and show of oneself, as well as enjoy “Oh those views, those views!”.

The Pilsticker Tower And Stairs Audio

I am the “arrow sharpener”, as I was started to be called in the old lower German language. I was built as the third watchtower, after the mighty defensive tower Tall Hermann and Stür den Kerl.

The Plate Tower Audio

I was built in the years 1401–1410 between two older and more honourable towers – the Ropehill and Epping towers. I was named after the tower chief Herbord Plate.

The Ropehill Tower Audio

I was in existence already in the 1360s, as a tower with a horseshoe shaped base, typical of the city design, but over a century later I became known as the “Tower Behind the Ropehill” 

The Sauna Tower Audio

I was constructed in the beginning of 1371 and completed in 1372, as a small turret and later in 1422 I belonged together with the section of wall linking St. Michael’s Convent of the Cistercian Order of Reval. 

The Square of towers Audio

It is as if each day we have a wonderful parade of the towers of the city wall.

The Stable Tower Audio

The Stable Tower or Marstall Tower or Work Yard Tower.

The Stolting tower Audio

The oldest towers of the city were probably gate towers, but I am a regular tower and belong amongst the oldest regular town towers. I am, alongside Kiek in de Kök, a circular tower in the city wall. I am not a common horseshoe shape. 

The Toompea Slope Audio

I am Toompea, the start of the city and seat of power. 

The Tower Behind Grusbeke Audio

The Tower Behind Nuns Audio

I am a small “turret” or as known by a more refined name, a “console tower” which, like other defensive structures of the same type, for example the Stable Tower or my neighbour, the Sauna Tower, we sit “on” the wall itself. 

The Tower Behind The Monks Audio

I was named after my location – I am standing directly behind one of the most important institutions of the medieval city, the Dominican St Catherine’s Monastery.

The Tower Behind Wulfard Audio

I am called the Tower Behind Wulfard. I was named after Wulfard Rosendal who lived in the area and was the tower chief in 1410.

The Vene street section of the wall Audio

I am an old and dignified street in the city. I am an artery that has joined the market with the harbour from the very beginning. It was common to see monks and merchants walking along me until the end of the Middle Ages. I was therefore a holy and spiritual place.

The wall in front of the maiden tower and stable tower Audio

We are a double wall – a high wall and a low wall. 

The wall walkway between the Renten tower and the tower behind Grusbeke Audio

Is it possible to find – from between my limestone and bricks – traces of the oldest known wall of the city of Tallinn, the Margaret Wall, built between 1265–1282? It is like the Holy Grail, something which archaeologists would love to discover.

Three Monks Audio

The monk sculptures standing in the King of Denmark Garden reference the stories and legends of the historically important courtyard and enliven the area. The work “Three” by Simson von Seakyll (Aivar Simson) and Paul Mänd was born in 2011 in the framework of a design competition, organised by the city and executed in the autumn of 2015 with the financing of Kapitel. Three bronze monks with a height of 2.5 metres are standing in the King of Denmark Garden: Ambrosius the “Waiting Monk”, Bartholomeus the “Praying Monk” and Claudius, the “Observing Monk”. The statues are supplemented by a light solution and an information board on the city wall.