Our boat trip was rapidly cruising to its end and Tallinn was our last city before we headed back to Copenhagen.
We were all well rested after our exhausting overloaded St. Petersburg day and the beautiful view of Tallinn greeted us on a perfect morning.
Wikipedia has the following to say about Tallinn:
Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Tallinn is the major political, financial, cultural and educational center of Estonia. Often dubbed as the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europeand is a birthplace of many international companies including Skype.
Once again disembarking was a breeze and we had to linger a bit before we took to the the roads of Tallinn on bicycles.
This gave us time to take some pictures before we met our tour guide.
We met our guide Tiiu who gave us an overview of what we would see. The stunning morning made it the perfect day to explore another city marked for a return after spending not nearly enough time there.
I learned to take photos from the bicycle while riding and by the end of the bicycle trip the booboos was significantly less. 🙂
And once again we crossed paths with Peter the great.
We did not enter his Kadriorg palace, but wikipedia had the following to say:
After the successful siege of Tallinn during the final phase of the Great Northern War in 1710 czar Peter the Great of Russia bought a small Dutch-style manor house at Lasnamäe for his wife Catherine. The house today is the result of a drastic renovation ordered by Nicholas I of Russia in 1827.
However, plans for a larger palace in the area soon developed and construction of a new palace, Kadriorg, was started on 25 July 1718. Peter and Catherine visited the unfinished residence on several occasions, but after the emperor’s death in 1725 Catherine showed no interest in the seaside property.
We left the palace our next stop being the presidential palace that shares the ground with Peter the great’s palace.
inyourpocket have this to say about the palace/residence:
For a few years during Estonia’s first period of independence (1918 – 1940), the Estonian head of state worked out of the Kadriorg Palace, but in 1938, this purpose-built presidential palace was opened next to it, just up the hill. The Presidential Palace’s style echoes the Kadriorg, albeit without quite so much flourish. Since the building once again serves as the President’s office and residence, it’s closed to visitors, but you can still wander into the parking area for a better view and, if your timing is lucky, you’ll see the honour guards marching out front.
The current coat of arms of Estonia is a golden shield which includes a picture of three blue lions with red tongues in the middle, with golden oak branches placed on both sides of the shield. The insignia derive from the coat of arms of Denmark, which ruled northern Estonia in the thirteenth century
We were really getting a nice feel for Tallinn on the bicycles.
Our next sight of interest was the grounds for the Tallinn song festival.
The stage can take up to 15000 performers at a time. These grounds played a significant role in the history of Estonia.
In 1988, Estonians gathered at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, to sing patriotic hymns in what became known as the Singing Revolution that led to the overthrow of Soviet rule.
The singing revolution went hand in hand with the baltic way where a peacefull demonstration was held for independence by forming a human chain. More than a million people were estimated to take part in this human chain.
The Estonia song festival are still being held here every 5 years. From Wiki:
The Estonian Song Festival (in Estonian: laulupidu) is one of the largest amateur choral events in the world, a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It is held every five years in July on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) simultaneously with the Estonian Dance Festival.The joint choir has comprised more than 30,000 singers performing to an audience of 80,000.
I just have to post a picture from wikipedia (since I know not many people will check my links).
We headed back towards the sea on our way to the old town.
Obviously everybody was looking forward to visit the old town dating back to 1248.
The visit to the old town will be covered in part two of the Tallinn post.