The Viru gates are the main entrance to Tallinn's Old Town, and are ridiculously picturesque, especially when they are strung with lights and dusted with a liberal sprinkling of snow. And although the original structure has been damaged over the centuries and the inner towers are now missing, it still looks like the set for a Disney movie ...
In many ways, they epitomise Tallinn's medieval past ... yet squint closer and you will see that through this most traditional of structures, you can see the ubiquitous Golden Arches. Yes, this was the first McDonalds in Tallinn, and still going strong!
Welcoming you to the bustling heart of Tallinn, the Viru Gate is the entrance to the Old Town. The two ivy-covered towers were constructed in the 14th century and were part of a chain of 45 wall towers in the city, only half of which now remain. The gate stands at the entrance of Viru street, a pedestrianised road full of shops and restaurants.
When you approach the old city from the shopping and business district you will pass through these old city gates and towers. Don't get too annoyed by the McDonald's restaurant on your left, proceed into the old city and you will find many nice cafe's, shops and restaurants as well.
Viru Värav (in Estonian) is nothing else but Viru Gate: one of the main gates to Tallinn old medieval town – except for the fact that now it no longer looks like a gate, but rather like two defensive ivy-covered towers separated by a street and a McDonalds. In the past this was a gated entrance that led to the old town, now cars are sadly allowed. What has remained unchanged are the flowers vendors outside the gate: they were there in the middle ages… they are still there today.
Part of the city's defensive wall system (the eastern section), go to the Old Town, in particular Viru Street (which is also handy for a snack afterwards)
Viru Gates comprise two pictureque, ivy-covered towers, and were part of what was the city's defensive walls and gates system, dating to the mid-14th century. Today, it's the throughfare into the Old Town.
The gate itself was demolished late in the 19th century to ease the passage of growing traffic.
The Great Goast Gate is situated at the cross point of Rannamae Tee and Suur-Rannavarava. It is the medieval exit to the Tallin port.
It was built as a defense of the seaside of the town and to impress visitors coming to the city from the sea.
Tallinn's eastern gate is called Suur-Kloostri (Great Abbey) and can be climbed for some great views of the city, especially the upper town. The views would be even better if the windows in the towers weren't so dirty. Watch your head when climbing, and watch out for the pidgeons who will decorate your shoulders if you stand still for too long.
There's a small fee (couple of euros) to pay in the musty entrance.
The pedicab driver told us which parts of the old wall were original, and which had been rebuilt. The twin towers of Viru gate, are the only part of the original 14th century gate system. Unfortunately I can't remember which were original and which were not.
Under construction while I find out more about the walls and gates
On the east side of the Lower Town you can find the twin towers of Viru gate, which are the only remaining vestiges of the original medieval gate system built in the 14th century. Today the two towers elegantly flank Viru street, which leads you into the old town along the beautiful and busy shopping street.
The Viru Gate is the main entrance into Tallinn's Old Town and leads onto Viru, one of the old town's busiest streets lined with cafe's, bars, restaurants and shops. The Viru gate is one of the main entrances through Tallinn's extensive walls and tower complex. The gate is located in the eastern part of the Old Town. The towers were built in the 14th century.
Radisson Blu Tallinn Tallinn
7 Reviews and 260 Opinions The Radisson Blu Tallinn is one of the new and modern hotels in Tallinn. It is right in the city...
Merchant's House Hotel Tallinn
6 Reviews and 285 Opinions My wife and I have just spent a week (early september) in this great hotel. The staff are really...
Hotel Telegraaf Tallinn
2 Reviews and 511 Opinions We paid 78€ per night for a double room without breakfast in early March 2011. For a 5 star boutique...