Tucked away in a corner by the city walls, this place is now a kind of garden and like many places in Tallinn’s old town, it has its own legend: In the 13th century, Estonians and Danes fought for the city. At a time, when the Estonians seemed to be the winners, the Danish flag (Danebrog) came down from heaven and the tide was turned in favour of the Danes. According to the legend, this miracle happened excatly on this place. After this battle, which took place on July 15th 1219, a period of Danish rule over Tallinn started.
In the summer season, there is the possibility to have a walk on this part of the city walls for a small fee. Upstairs, there is also a café as well with a small selection of hot and cold beverages as well as snacks. During wintertime, you can climb up the wall for free. However, only the small strecht from the steps to the café is open. Be careful on the steps when it freezes as the way up there is pretty steep.
The only realistic way to explore the old town is on foot. The cobbles would make cycling too tricky and the roads are few and generally not very navigable by taxi. The old town - especially the upper parts - are not very extensive and you could easily reach all corners of this fascinating sector within about 3hours of easy ambling. There are steps which would make wheelchair access impossible but if the route is chosen carefully you could probably get to the top. It might be best to ask at the main tourist information centre for details of access for wheelchair users.
There are two lookout points both of which face north. I have uploaded a video taken from one of them. It is featured on my Tallinn homepage. I hope by watching this short panoramic clip you are still tempted to go. I wouldn't want you to think "Oh well, I've seen it now so I don't need to go myself !" The old town is well worth a visit. The architecture and the atmosphere make it a very pleasant place to explore.
If you are visiting Tallinn for fairytale views and perfect photo opportunities, then you are in luck. The two viewing platforms on Toompea, just a short walk from the magnificent cathedral, offer contrasting vistas of the local area.
For a fantastic view of the Old Town spires and streets, Kohtuotsa platform is the place to go. You can see many of the places of interest in the Lower Town including St Olav's church from here. In the distance, you can also make out Tallinn's TV Tower and outer suburbs.
From Patkuli platform, you can also see St Olav's church and the city walls. In the distance, there is a great view of the port area and the Baltic Sea.
To see a beautifully preservred part of town with viewpoints over the rest of the old town and beyond, walk up Toompea beyond the Parliament building. The street becomes Toom-Kooli at this point. In Kiriku Square you will see the Dome Church (Toom Kirik) also known as St Mary's Cathedral. A short walk from here takes you to a viewpoint over the city. At the viewpoint is a snack kiosk made of snow; presumably it uses other material in summer! There are some lovely small houses at the top of the hill as well as a well stocked amber shop.
A great place to start any tour of Tallinn's old city is to go straight up to the Upper Town and walk around its many viewing areas. These areas should be pointed out on any good tourist map, but if you really don't know, check out the spots to the left and right of the Parliament (underneath the spire of the white Lutheran church), then there are two more on the northern edge of the upper walls.
In addition there's a lesser known area just outside the Upper Town, on Luhike Jalg, to the east of Nevsky Cathedral. Here you can stand underneath the towering medieval walls and look out over the lower town and city centre. You will also get a close up view of the spire of St. Nicholas, its foundations built many meters below.
On my last night in the city I was lucky enough to witness a fantastic winter sunset, as the orange orb slid down behind a frosty Tallinn landscape. The smoke stacks profiled in the sun's dying glow, with their smog trails frozen in the still air, were as beautiful as the streets of old Tallinn in their own special way.
The upper town is known as Toompea, and has long been home to the most important people in Estonia, taking advantage of the exposed part of a limestone cliff that provides a natural defence against invaders.
Everyone from the Danes to the Soviets, and Catholics to Protestants, have left their mark on the hill. They left a legacy of important buildings like the Danish Toompea Castle, the Russian Orthodox Nevsky Cathedral, the Estonian Parliament, and the Lutheran Cathedral of Toomkirik.
Today Toompea provides a concentrated history of Tallinn, with some impressive architecture and amazing views, all crammed into the area the size of which can be crossed and re-crossed in the space of 15 minutes.
Around Tallinn there are viewing platforms. There you can take superb pics of the city. I think we found 5. Oh and on one them we got offered a russian passport, a communist party book and loads of cd's.
On Toompea Hill there are 4 viewing platforms. Two are offering a view to the west on Toompark and the station behind it. There is one with a view to the north. From here there is a nice view on the city walls and towers. The platform to the east is probably the most visited because from here the view on the red roofs of Old town, Olai Church and the harbour are magnificent.
From Toompea you get great views over the Lower Town and beyond. The Kohtu Street Viewing Platform allows you to see rooftop views of St. Olav's Church, St. Nicholas Church, the Town Hall Tower and on towards the sea. At Patkuli Viewing Platform there are views of the Town Wall and its towers.
They give you a really different view of the city, the Old Town in the foreground, the building blocks of new construction in the distance.
At the end of Kohtu Street there is lookout with marvellous views over the Medieval lower town's red roofs and the modern Tallinn on the other side of the defensive wall. In front of you see a roof with a weathervane in a shape of a rooster, which is part of Lühikese jala väravatower and is like from a fairytale book and an opposite of the Viru hotel behind it. On the left you can see Olevise Church and on the right Niguliste Church. We were there on our first night and loved the view. We were not sure what we had expected from Tallinn but that light summer night we knew that Tallinn was much more than we could never have imagined.
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