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Published: August 30th 2018
We say goodbye to our hostel room in Old Town Tallinn
We spent our last day in Tallinn on a medieval walking tour of the lower part of Tallin with our two tour guides dressed in medieval garb. The tour took us around some of the most important medieval sites around old town Tallin and gave us a great insight into the towns history and boom to bust fortunes. One great story was of the Danish Conquerer who constructed the first castle overlooking Tallinn who was captured in his sleep, killed due to debts he owed and body placed in the St Catherines church cellar where it was forgotten. More than 100 years later, someone opened the cellar and found his perfectly preserved body and so Tallin’s first tourist attraction was born - people would travel from all around Europe to view his body and poke his chest with a finger just to make sure he was dead.
We then learned about the towns contaminated water supply and the solution - make beer out of the water which was even supported by the Pope. And on that matter, the reason Estonia has been conquered so many times has its roots in the dark ages with the crusades. Lithuania and Estonia were
Scottish Hotel in Old Town Tallinn - they even remembered Bannockburn
the only regions that were pagan so the initial conquests by the Danish and then Germans were to bring religion and is the reason why St Catherines church was the first structure constructed in the old town (it was later partly destroyed by Russian boms on 9 March 1944) but that’s another type of conquest story).
We were also taken to a merchants house with timber ceilings and stone columns more than 600 years old and learned that the merchants of Tallin first used sensory marketing techniques - cooking of spices and allowing the aroma to waft through open windows and entice potential customers and clients. We also visited tow guild houses, the Order of Blackheads Guild House which was for unmarried merchants and the Grand Guild House for married ones. The Order of Blackheads were depicted as the troublemakers of the town but they also were the first dudes in history to erect a pine tree in the town square at Christmas time (very first Christmas Tree) which was set alight at the end of festivities and then one year when the burning tree was responsible for a budding fire, then decorated it with candles the next creating
It’s bright and sunny as we make a start to our last full day in Tallinn
the first ever decorated Christmas tree.
After the tour, we collected our bags from the Hostel and made our way to the Ferry Terminal for our 3 hour ferry crossing to Helsinki. Our apartment was only a 10 minute walk away from the Ferry Terminal so we elated for the night.
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