There has been a Town Hall and a Town Hall Square here in the centre of the old town district since the middle of the 14th century. In the past, the square was used as a marketplace and a gathering place; it was here celebrations and executions were carried out... Today, the square is still used for small markets (stalls selling souvenirs), and for festivals and concerts – and has been home for the city's Christmas tree for almost 600 years!!!
The square is surrounded by beautiful old buildings (some bars and restaurants) and the Town Hall, which got its present appearance in the beginning of the 15th century. The Town Hall is now a museum and concert hall - but I didn't visit, only had a closer look at the building and its impressive tower.
Tallinn’s town hall is the dominating building in the old town and probably also the most beautiful. It bears the destinction of being the last surviving gothic town hall in northern Europe. Its exact age is rather unknown. Some sources say the construction began in 1332, others say that the building was already mentioned 10 years earlier, some other mention years around 1400. For sure, it is known that major changes took place in the late 15th century, leading to the present building.
The tower, at the eastern end of the hall, has a small figure of a city guard on it. It is called Vana Thomas (Old Thomas) is the symbol of the town. A legend says that Thomas was a poor boy who won a bird shooting contest although only noblemen were allowed there. Thomas won the hearts of the people and was trained to be a city guard, an office he held until his old age. The figure itself is from 1530 (now replaced by a copy – the old one was shot down during WWII in 1944) and serves as a weather vane. Other details to notice are the bronze dragonheads which have the same function as the gargoyles of gothic churches.
During summertime, you can visit the interior of the hall. There are interesting exhibitionns about the history of the building and the city inside. The great halls in the first floor still give you an idea of the medieval glory. In front of the town hall, you will see also a plaque marking tallinn’s old town as listed as UNESCO cultural world heritage.
Tallinn Town Hall is a Gothic architecture and located at the Town Hall Square. It’s a museum where you can study the history. The building history of the Town Hall goes back to the 13th century. In its present form it was completed in 1404. You can go up to the top of the tower for around three Euros; I didn’t go up to see the spectacular view of the Old Town. The stairs is very steep
The Tallinn Town Hall (Estonian: Tallinna raekoda) is a building in the Tallinn Old Town, in Tallinn, Estonia, beside Town Hall Square. It is the only intact gothic style town hall in the Northern Europe.
Tallinn's City Hall claims to be unique: the only Gothic town hall in Northern Europe. I guess it's all down to definition, but I swear I've seen Gothic town halls in Manchester and Bruges... Still it's a nice example, and it is very old.
The original structure was built back in the 13th century. It's been reworked many times since, with the most prominent addition being the Renaissance spire, which was tacked on in the 17th century.
You can enter the city hall, and also climb its tower for views over the old city.
The Town Hall was built in a Gothic style in the early 13th Century or thereabouts (exact date of its construction is unknown). You enter by going down into the cellar where they have an exhibition set up. There is a large map of the Hanseatic Trade League on the wall, showing the many cities that Tallinn was connected to through trade. In the cellar you will also find many displays showing aspects of life in Tallinn in medieval times (people, clothes, food, work, etc.).
The second floor shows the Citizen and Council Halls - which are kept in an excellent condition, they are beautiful rooms. Plus from the second floor you can get a good view of the Square below.
Note: This tip is titled 'Tallinns 'Treasure'', as the Hall was regarded as an 'architectural treasure' to the people.
Town Hall Tower Ticket
Adult: 25 EEK
Concession: 15 EEK
Tallinn Card: 0 EEK
Tallinn’s town hall stands in the impressive and picturesque town hall square (Raekoja plats). It’s a Gothic building dating back to 1402-1404, expect for the spire, which is a Lare renaissance addition. In this building, in the past, the city’s burgermeisters used to meet and at times also had their own warehouses.
Today the town hall is usually used either as a venue for concerts or as a location where to entertain visiting kings or presidents, but in July and August it's open to visitors (Mon-Sat) 10 Am-4PM. Entrance in August 2010 was 60 Eek for adults, 30 Eek for children and 102 EEK for families and free with the Tallinn card – and I highly recommend it: its wood-carvings are simply amazing.
As you step outside, you will find yourself on Town Hall square, a beautiful square lined with colourful merchant houses mostly turned into touristy restaurants and cafès. To get there follow any of the city winding cobbled-streets: eventually they will lead you to centre of the square.
This guard-shaped weather vane at the top of the spire on the Town Hall has been on duty since 1530 and has long been the symbol of the town. The original Old Thomas is exhibited in the Town Hall (adminssion charge).
The Old Town Hall building, right on the main square is a must visit place. Besides being very well preserved (recently even the Attic was restored and open to public), it offers great views of the square and all the activity that marks the centre of Tallinn. It's also possible to get a glimpse at what life was like in the middle age. Also visit the Tower if you have a strong heart because the climb is very hard and long. But the view makes the effort well worthy.
Tallinn Town hall located in the Main Square (Raekoja Plats) in the old Town. the Town Hall is regarded as one of Europe's best preserved medieval Town halls and the only reamining Gothic Town Hall in Noirthern Europe. The Town hall is believed to have been started around the 13th century but was renovated and reconstructed in the 15th century. The spire was added in the 17th century. The famous Old Thomas figure stands atop of the spire watching over Tallinn's Old Town.
Gothic style town hall was built firstly in 13th century, later; in 1402-1404 it was reconstructed and stays the same till this moment. It is quite famous building in all Estonia and makes special medieval feeling for Tallinn's old town.
It is possible to visit this town hall and to go up to tower to see panorama for some money. I skipped it this time. On that town hall tower the weathervane called "Old Thomas" is located, put here even from 1530, but now it the third version of "Old Thomas" is put :)
Tallinn's town hall is very famous tourist gathering place and it is popular locals meeting place (near small clock of town hall).
When we visited the Town Hall the cellar, was hosting a very interesting exhibition entitled “A Mighty Fortress”, concentrating on the late medieval period this explored the feudal system, the system of law, the relationship between town and county and the rivalry between the Lower Town and Toompea, the Upper Town.
At that point in time the Lower Town was expanding at a fast rate and the authorities needed people to work as builders, labourers etc.. so runaway peasants/servants from the country, or Toompea, were allowed to stay in the Lower Town and, if they remained there for a year and a day they became free. Their master could, during this time, apply to have them returned but this was quite a long process involving the town officials. If they were successful they had to agree that the peasant/servant would suffer no punishment and if they ignored this then they faced punishment of their own. Quite a liberal system born out of the necessity to increase the available workforce.
We also enjoyed the story of how the Lower Town petitioned the Pope to allow them to build their own school rather than rely on the one at the Dome Church in Toompea. The description of the difficulties faced by the children getting to the school - roads dangerous and impassable due to inclement weather, no walls or fences protecting them from the steep drops around Toompea and even the number of paces it took to walk different stages of the journey – all written in a letter to the Pope was fascinating and proved successful as a school was allowed to be established in the Lower town
On one side of Raekoja plats sits the imposing Raekoda or Town Hall, the representation of medieval power in the Lower Town.
The limestone building dates from the late 14th/early 15th Century and was completed in 1404, the thin minaret like tower was, according to legend, based on a sketch by an explorer who had visited the Orient. On top this is the spire, originally pyramidal but replaced in 1627 by a tapering Baroque style one. Surmounting this – but dating from nearly 100 years earlier - is Vana Toomas (Old Thomas) – guardsman, lookout, weathervane and another symbol of the city (see separate tip). Like the spire the decorative dragon shaped gargoyles at the base of the roof are also a Renaissance addition.
The interior of the Town Hall is closed for visitors for most of the year but open to all between 1st July-31st August (except 20th August) while the cellar (see separate tip) – containing special exhibitions - is open from 15th May until 30th March.
The ground floor of the Town Hall was used as a trading area with the ceremonial offices on the floor above. The gothic Citizens Hall has vividly painted columns and striking wooden and metal chandeliers. On the walls are two tapestries from 1547 showing scenes from the life of Solomon. This motif is continued in the adjoining Council Hall where wall panels are painted with biblical scenes including, again, the Judgement of Solomon. Once can imagine that through these the alderman and magistrates of the city were being encouraged to emulate Solomon’s wisdom and fair judgement. The Council Hall also contains two beautifully carved wooden benches.
The vaulted roof space – with impressive beams - has an exhibition about the changing face of the Town Hall and the more recent reconstructions it has undergone. The photographs of the building during the communist era, bedecked with a large poster of Lenin and with the arcaded area at the base of the building closed in, are fascinating as is the before and after photo of when its façade was given a clean.
This impressive gothic style building is located in the town hall square nearly from 13th century. During centuries it was rebuilt many times, but still inside there you can see rooms which remained from past times.
At the top of town hall one can see the Old Thomas who symbolizes Tallinn. He stands there already from 16th century. On the façade one can see dragons heads.
The Town Hall & Cellar Hall costs 35 EEK to visit but is free with the Tallinn card. The Town Hall tower is also open to visitors on various dates. This costs 25 EEK and is also free for Tallinn card holders.