Town Hall, Tallinn

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  • The Town Hall
    The Town Hall
    by ValbyDK
  • The Town Hall Square
    The Town Hall Square
    by ValbyDK
  • Town Hall Square
    Town Hall Square
    by IreneMcKay
  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    The Town Hall

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 7, 2014
    Tallinn's Town Hall.
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    Tallinn has a huge town hall building dominating the town hall square of the lower town. This building has been the centre of civic rule in Tallinn since the Middle Ages. The town hall was completed in 1404. On the roof of the town hall there is a weather vane, the locals nickname Old Thomas. This has watched over Tallinn since 1530. Town Hall square is a bustling lively place.

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    The Town Hall

    by toonsarah Written Jun 23, 2014

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    Town Hall at night
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    The Town Hall in Tallinn is the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe and had stood on this spot since the start of the 15th century (1402-1404 to be precise), when it was built as a meeting place for the ruling burgermeisters and as a visible sign of their authority. It served this function until 1970 when the city officials vacated the building for, I assume, somewhere more practical, but it is still used for ceremonial functions as well as for concerts and other events. In July and August it is open to visitors but sadly my June visit was too early for this. A shame, as it is apparently very worth seeing, and notable especially for some medieval wooden benches with carved side posts featuring the story of Tristan and Isolde and Samson’s fight with the lion – considered some of the most beautiful examples of medieval art in Estonia.

    Nevertheless I was to see plenty of the building’s exterior, as I crossed the square in front of it on many occasions during my brief stay. Its solidity contrasts rather, in my view, with a narrow elegant tower that reminded me a little of a minaret, with its delicately shaped brickwork. It is unsurprising that it makes such a contrast, since this is a 17th century addition. The spire of the tower was destroyed by flames in a Soviet air raid on 9th March 1944, and this prompted considerable restoration work after the war. In the case of the exterior this has consisted largely of repairing, restoring and if necessary replacing what was here before (including mid 17th century changes that saw the main entrance moved and ground floor arcades boarded up). Obviously too, the interior has been considerably changed over the centuries, to ensure that it continued to serve its function as the centre of governance for the city. Nevertheless this remains a treasure of a building and one of which Tallinn is justifiably proud.

    My second and fifth photos were taken from my hotel bathroom (with a zoom lens, naturally). The latter shows the figure known as Old Thomas, a weathervane. This is the third Old Thomas – the first, which had stood here since 1530, was damaged in that 1944 air raid (and is now on display in the Town Hall Cellar), and the second was replaced during the 1996 restoration of the spire.

    Next tip: soup in the ancient town hall

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    The Town Hall Square

    by ValbyDK Updated Jun 27, 2013

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    The Town Hall
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    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.

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    Raekoda – Town Hall

    by Airpunk Updated Jan 20, 2013

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    Town Hall
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    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.

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Town Hall

    by fachd Written Sep 10, 2012

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    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

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Town Hall Square

    by fachd Written Sep 10, 2012

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    Band rehearsing at Town Hall Square
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    Today Town Hall Square of the Old Town is where people gather to socialize. It was the hub of the Old Town for the last eight centuries.

    At the square we saw band rehearsing on the big stage, there were open medieval markets selling souvenir and handicraft.

    The Gothic Town Hall is also located nearby. Around the square there are many cafes and restaurants, you won’t go hungry here, we ate at Pepper Sack for dinner.

    There is also money exchange and if you are feeling catching a cold go and buy your medicine at the oldest pharmacy in Europe.

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  • yvgr's Profile Photo

    Town Hall in Tallinn

    by yvgr Updated Apr 18, 2012

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    Tallinn Town Hall info Sign

    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.

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    Lower Town: City Hall (Raekoja)

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    City Hall, Tallinn
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    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.

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    Tallinns 'Treasure'

    by Marpessa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Town Hall, Old Town
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    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.

    Tickets
    35 EEK

    Town Hall Tower Ticket
    Adult: 25 EEK
    Concession: 15 EEK
    Tallinn Card: 0 EEK

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    town hall and square

    by call_me_rhia Updated Sep 19, 2010

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    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.

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Town Hall and the Square

    by ranger49 Updated Aug 4, 2010

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    Town Hall Square and the Town Hall are at the heart of Old Town.
    The late Gothic building dates from 1404 and is said to be the oldest building of its kind in all Europe.
    It seemed a miracle to me that such a treasure survived centuries of fierce conflict and battle.

    The spire is visible from most parts of town and is another place where those with good knees and walking legs can climb to the top (64m) for a better view over the city between 15 May - 30 August.
    So we missed that opportunity as our visit was on 4 September.

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  • dfactor's Profile Photo

    Old Thomas

    by dfactor Written Jul 18, 2009
    Well protected in the Town Hall
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    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).

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  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    Visit the Old Town Hall

    by jorgec25 Written Oct 16, 2008

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    The Old Town Hall
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    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.

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  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Town Hall - Raekoda

    by pure1942 Written Jun 5, 2008

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    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.

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Medieval town hall

    by Raimix Updated Aug 21, 2007

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    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).

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