Estonian Open air Museum - Vabaohumuuseum, Tallinn
The Estonian Ethnographic Museum is a collection of traditional buildings set in lovely parkland about 3 miles from the city centre.
There are farms, and a church, and windmills, a water-mill, a school.even a fire station! The staff dress appropriately, and carry out tradtional activities whilst talking to visitors.
It's a fascinating place to visit, and gives a real glimpse into what Estonia was like in the fairly recent past (as they are mostly wooden, few buildings are more than a couple of centuries old).
The setting is lovely, with the buildings dotted about in the woodland next to the bay (excellent views of Tallinn over the water). There's a good inn (Kolu Korts) for restorative food/beer/coffee.
A really interesting morning or afternoon's visit: well worth seeing. The museum website linked below has details of opening times/entrance fees in English.
My museum page:
Situated in 80 hectares of park on the Bay of Kopli, this museum gives a fascinating glimpse of old Estonian village life. The museum contains buildings brought here from across Estonia. Different activities take place here throughout the year.
The museum is open daily expect for a few holidays. The hours vary in the Summer & Winter seasons. The current adult prices are Summer 70EEK, Winter 35EEK
The school room, complete with living rooms for the teacher, is very interesting and still used by visiting Estonian school children as part of the museum’s education programme. The small church, dating from 1699, is beautiful and also still in use for weddings and celebrations. Throughout the year the museum also hosts various events such as a Christmas Village in December, folk dancing displays and a bonfire party on the Midsummer Eve celebrations.
As well as the buildings the park, with trails leading through the trees and beside the sea, is a lovely placed for a wander. I’d suggest taking a picnic but to be honest the onsite café is such excellent value that it is worth sitting on one of the benches inside or out and sampling their pea soup or other traditional Estonian dishes.
My one, minor, criticism is that the otherwise excellent and informative Audio Guide (free to Tallinncard holders, approx. 80 eek otherwise) and the numbered Map do get a little confused around the area of the cluster villages and it becomes hard to tell which building the guide is referring to. Otherwise this is an wonderful museum and a great place to spend a few hours learning about Estonian rural life, wandering through the trees and relaxing in lovely scenery.
Vabaohumuuseumi tee 12
Just a short bus ride away from Tallinn’s Old Town is the Estonian Open Air Museum, an 80 hectare park containing reconstructed wooden and limestone buildings which allow visitors to step back into Estonia’s rural past.
Buildings are grouped into areas - North South and East Estonia and the Islands - and show the different types of buildings and communities representative of those areas. The first few groups of buildings are what could be called small holdings where the distinction between barn, storage area, house and farm yard is blurred. Threshing rooms double as stables for wintering animals, barn rooms with a kiln where used as both drying rooms for grain and sleeping areas ,in colder months. In more clement weather other barns were used for sleeping as well as storage – and play areas for cats as evidenced by the round ‘cat-holes’ carved through the wooden walls at floor height – and the cooking are moved outside to conical shaped summer kitchens.
Later cluster villages developed with groups of houses- still with their individual yards and barns - growing up around a central area. The development of building techniques can also be seen with limestone starting to replace wood in certain areas of the country and houses becoming larger with more defined areas for living and working. The museum also shows the different industries of rural life, from raising crops and livestock to fishing, weaving, milling – there are a number of windmills on show – and smithy work. The latter, as with the household sauna, was a fire risk so often placed away from other buildings to minimise the risk of any fire spreading. Indeed one of the exhibits is a reconstructed fire station – a necessity when many buildings used kilns or ovens in rooms without chimneys.
The Open Air Museum in Tallinn is a must see attraction. Take a look at the picture and enjoy!
In this area you can also bring a visit to Tallinn Zoo and a small amusement park, which by the way is the biggest amusement park of Estonia!!