World Heritage #0822 – Tallinn

Last modified 03.04.2022 | Published 22.12.2013Estonia, North and Central Europe, World Heritage Sites

Est. reading time:

It is quite remarkable how they have been able to secure the layout of the wonderful Medieval townscape, in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Full name of site: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn
  • Country: Estonia
  • Date of Inscription: 1997
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no 822:

“The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants’ houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries.”


My visit

I had visited the three Old Towns of Warsaw, Vilnius and Riga the week before Christmas 2013. By the time I reached Tallinn, I should have grown a fatigue. If I was, the arrival in Tallinn invigorated me substantially. This is one of the nicest little capitals anywhere. Still protected by a Medieval city wall, the narrow streets, steep steps, small squares, lovely buildings and the great view from the viewpoints, is just wonderful. This is a town that ought to be on everyone’s itinerary.

Read more about my visit.

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