bergen - learning > World Heritages > The old town of Tallin


Description Quiz

T/F Quiz

Multiple Choice Quiz


2006年 青山学院大学 小林 千紘

Pre-reading Questions:
1. What country is Tallin in?
2. How did Tallin become such a historical city?

The old town of Tallin, Estonia

Inscribed :1997 Criteria: C (ii)()

Brief description:

If you are interested in medieval age or the northern European historical trading city, this world heritage spot would be a perfect place to visit. Tallinn, located in northern Estonia, would show you how these time were like. The old town of Tallinn remains a living museum with many valuable constructions such as; churches, castles and fortresses. The area was inscribed as the World Heritage site in 1997. Quote; Tallinn is an outstanding and exceptionally complete and well preserved example of a medieval northern European trading city that retains the salient features of this unique form of economic and social community to a remarkable degree. (from UNESCO World Heritage Home Page)

In history, Estonia had been invaded or ruled by various countries. So there are many historical buildings and spots which are reflected by each periods.

This small but valuable area appears on the historical record in the end of the Middle Age when Teutonic from German and Denmark invented Estonia. They built a fortress called ‘Taani Linn’which became the origin of this area’s name ‘Tallinn’.

In the end half of 13th century, Tallinn, which was called ‘Reval’at that time, developed as a major center of the Hanseatic League and became a major trading city in northern Europe. It is said that Tallinn is built on salt because salt was a main transit item from Spain to Russia at that time. During the Livonian war happened in 16th century, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Poland were fighting with each other for territory. Tallinn was invented by Sweden and became a city of fortresses such as; Hermann Tower and Margareeta Tower. The old city hall is built in this time period. It’s 602 years old. The symbol of Tallinn which is called ‘Vana Toomas’(means ‘uncle Thomas’) stands on top of this building.

In 17th century, the plague and conflagration hit Tallinn. Then in the beginning of 18th century, Tallinn surrendered to Russia. It became only a country side small city in Russian empire. The Russian Orthdox church, Alexsander Nevski church with 11 bells including 15t heavy huge bell and Kadrioru palace were built at this time.

In 1920, Estonia became independent republic after two years of war to get freedom from Soviet. Though, it was forced to become part of Soviet again because of a secret agreement which supplemented the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. Until 1991 when it got second and lasting independence, Estonia was under control of Soviet and Nazis ( for 3 years during the WW2). At that time, many of Estonians run away to out side of the country or arrested and interned. There were large Pro-independence demonstration drew together one third of Estonians in 1990. Estonians and the other Baltic States managed to preserve their national identities. The Resistance Movement, which had been continually gaining support from the mid 1980’s onwards, reached its peak in the early 1990’s. Then, on 20 August 1991 the Republic of Estonia was restored.

The old town of Tallinn is an area which is girdled by 1.85km of rampart. According to Alexander Bestuzhev’s account after his trip to Tallinn in 1821, quote; the streets of Tallinn are not straight, and so narrow that cabmen are forced to ride with bells in order not to run into those coming in opposite direction. An inquisitive gossip can see everything across a street into the room of her neighbor.

There are so many historical and valuable spots to see in the old town of Tallinn so it’s hard to introduce all of these. So, I talked about only a few parts of the area. But please remember that this whole area is a living museum and every constructions, spots and even streets are the part of the World Heritage.

タリンには、エストニアの全人口の3分の1が住んでいるといいます。町自体はフィンランド湾というバルト海の東部を占める海にある小湾に面していて、フィンランド湾を北へ渡ると、85キロ離れている Helsinki (ヘルシンキ)というフィンランドの首都があります。タリンの南部にはUlemiste Jarv (ウレミステ湖)があります。
案外知られていませんが、「サウナ」はエストニア語です!さすが寒い地域とあって、サウナはエストニアやフィンランドでは非常にポピュラーです。エストニアの人々は週末、「Saturday Suna」と言って、家族や友達とサウナに入って楽しい時間を過ごしています。また、夏にはビーチに行ったり冬にはスキーなどのウインタースポーツを楽しんでいるようです。




Hanseatic League

Livonian War

the plague


the Hitler-Stalin Pact

Web Sites

Tallin-In Your Pocket
Estonian tourist guide > World Heritages > Tallinn

by Setsuko Watanabe, Aoyama Gakuin College of Economics

© 2005