The Town Hall
Tallinn Town Hall
Owner: John S Y Lee
Town Hall, Tallinn
Tallinn Town Hall
Town Hall Pharmacy
Owner: Márcio Wariss Monteiro
Even before the Town Hall was built the square served as a marketplace. It was also the point of the city where celebrations and executions used to take place. Nowadays the Town Hall Square is still the main cultural point of Tallinn. In summertime it is filled with outdoor cafes, many open-air concerts, medieval markets and handicraft fairs.
The Town Hall Square has a tradition which is about 600 year old. In winter, a Christmas tree finds its home there for a month or more, gathering around the annual Christmas Market.
The Town Hall square is special for the traditional Old Town Days festival which gives an opportunity to see a knights’ tournament, parades or election of the May Count and to feel the spirit of Middle Ages.
The Town Hall is one of the most famed symbols of Tallinn. It is appreciated for its unique architecture and it is also the only survived building of late Gothic style in Northern Europe. The beginning of the Tallinn Town Hall reaches the 13th century, when in 1248, the Danish King Erik IV declared that Tallinn city is ruled by the city of Lübeck. Afterwards the town council was selected by merchants to sit in the Town Hall. The Town Hall facade was reconstructed in 1402-1404 and it kept its authentic outlook untill nowadays.
Today, the Town Hall plays a role of an administrative building. On the second floor festive receptions and various concerts are held just like in the medieval days. The Town Hall is also proud of the heritage from the Hanseatic era. The unique example is the medieval benches. One bench from the 14th century has a masterly carved image of Tristan and Isolde on its side. The theme of image gave a name for lively café beneath the Town Hall.
In July and August visitors can explore the Town Hall from the cellars up to the attic. In the attic a moving story of restoration of the Town Hall is showed. From May untill the end of September and in Christmas time, the ancient cellar is opened for visitors. The visitors can enjoy a virtual walk along a model of the Old Town city wall.
Furthermore, the cellar presents the Tallinn‘s famous symbol - Old Thomas which is the weather vane. The Old Thomas has guarded Tallinn form the top of the Town Hall for four centuries. Nowadays the Old Thomas is resting in the cellar while its place was taken by a young heir. In summertime, visitors are lucky to enjoy the same view as the Old Thomas from the top of the Town Hall does. 115 steps lead to the top of the tower where the picturesque views of the town please visitors’ eyes.
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