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Sept. 3, 2017

Estonia is the northern most and smallest of the Baltic States. Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia with a population of 400,000. They are part of the European Union and use Euro's as currency.

It was about a 15 minute walk from the ship to the old town section of Tallinn which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a medieval enclave with old walls, towers, winding cobbled streets and buildings dating back to the Middle Ages when it was a member of the Hanseatic League. The old town is divided into Lower Town and Toompea or Upper Town.

We decided to follow the self-guided walk described in Rick Steve's book on Cruising the Baltic. We started in Lower Town, passing through the archway by the Fat Margaret Tower. The tower guarded the entry gate of the town in medieval times. We then walked up Pikk Street, the medieval merchant's main drag. It is lined with interesting buildings. Some were warehouses complete with cranes on the gables. Some like the buldings nicknamed "Three Sisters" have been converted to hotels.






We continued along the street to Town Hall Square which has been a marketplace through the centuries. The 15th century Town Hall dominates the square. Today, the square is full of eateries and beer halls.







Leaving Old Town, we walked uphill along a steep cobbled lane, through the gate of the wall separating the two towns. The wall originally had 46 towers of which 26 still stand. Upon entering Upper Town, we immediately saw the gorgeous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church, with its colorful onion domes. It was built in 1900 when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. The church has been exquisitely renovated inside and out.




Continuing through Upper Town, we stopped at several over looks which gave great views of the whole city. From there we decended back to the lower town and through the Viru Gate into downtown, more modern Tallinn. By then we were very tired, having been walking all day on the cobblestoned streets. So we found the cruise ship's shuttle bus and gratefully rode back to the ship.



To view more photos from our trip to Tallinn, please go to Tallinn Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to St. Petersburg.

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