On my last evening in Tallinn I decided I would like to get some more night photos, so I took my camera with me when I went to meet up with the rest of the group for dinner, and when the party broke up a little before 11.00 PM announced my intention of climbing Toompea for some final shots. But in planning for night photography I had forgotten just how long the days last here in summer, especially on a sunny day such as we had just (finally) enjoyed. Although the streets of the old town seemed quite dusky by now, as I climbed Piik jalg I realised that the sun was only now just setting. There were few people about and I did wonder for a moment whether it was a great idea to be out here alone that late, but my London street-smarts instincts indicated that it was, and I was drawn on by the sound of voices coming from the Kohtuotsa almost directly above me.
Once on Toompea I headed in that direction and emerged to find several small groups and couples all enjoying the lovely colours in the sky. I took some photos and then decided to head on round the hill to Patkuli, where I had not yet been. Here I found fewer people – just one young couple and a handful of other keen photographers. I also found the most beautiful sky and a graceful sliver of moon to ornament my shots. A beautiful place to end my sightseeing in Tallinn, and a highly recommended little outing if you find yourself with such a clear evening in the city.
My first photo here was taken from Kohtuotsa; photo two was taken on Pikk jalg on my way up, looking back at the gateway and St Olaf’s Church; photos three and four were taken from Patkuli (as was the main photo on my intro page); and the final photo was taken from my hotel bathroom on my return, at about midnight!
Next tip: the so-called Kissing Hill
We spotted this sign at the airport next to the baggage roundabouts. It is actually an advertisement for a nearby shopping centre but the description of Tallinn and its surroundings is rather funny...
Photos 2-4 have some enlargements of the big picture so you can read and see details better.
Some famous buildings - Olai church (or is it the cathedral?), the town hall, the northern gate with Fat Margaret tower - represent the old town, plus a dog house;-) Viru skyscraper and some modern blocks stand for new Tallinn. The surrounding landscape is entitled as "eimidagi" (nothing) and is inhabited by mooses and fir trees. The road and rail to the east lead to Russia, those to the west lead "nowhere". Then there is the lake, the airport, and the brewery.
This is all you need to learn about Tallinn before heading for the shopping centre... according to the merchants there.
Tallinn is quite panoramic place. I will write down all these places, where could be see good panoramas:
1) St. Olav's church (Oleviste church). You have to pay some money to go up by stairs and see panorama from tallest church in Tallinn. I think the most beautiful view is to Toompea castle. From this place I think the best panorama of all old town could be seen and a view to the sea with all these big ships.
2) Radisson SAS hotel. When coming to this tall building in Tallinn centre better to say how to get to the bar at top floor. The lift takes you up and from this place you can see old town at one side and new town at other sides with all these new skyscraper buildings.
3) Toompea castle hill. There is a view to lower part of old town. In some places of Toompea hill panorama is quite interesting, as view of old town buildings is mixed with modern skyscrapers.
4.) A view from the sea to old town and port. When standing near Russalka monument some spires of old town buildings could be seen and the sea.
This lovely 18th century painting in the art gallery out at Kadriog shows clearly the spire of St Olaf's Church and the city skyline looking very much as it does today with the Old Town nestled at the base of Toompea and many other steeples and spires reconizable. Then the church's spire may well have been still the tallest building in the western world - its spire was originally 159m high, though reconstruction in 1820 saw it reduced to 124m. Whatever its height, it certainly served as a major landmark for shipping in this corner of the Baltic.
In those days the city was right by the sea, and some of the walls were in fact very close to the water - the tower known as Fat Margaret was the Sea Gate to the city. Year by year the land is rising slowly however, and now the old city is some distance from the water.
Fondest memory: Seeing the beautiful skyline for the first time! I was still on the hydrofoil coming from Helsinki and it was an amazing sight!