Open Air Museum

Did you know that Tallinn has one of Estonia’s oldest wooden churches?

Located at the Estonian Open Air Museum, Sutlepa Chapel is one of two wooden churches to have survived in Estonia from Swedish times. Originally located in the Village of Sutlepa in Lääne County, the chapel is mentioned in archival sources as early as 1627, while the year on the outside of the door frame is 1699.

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The miracle substance Panis Martius

Did you know that the oldest continuously operating café in Tallinn is Café Maiasmokk?

In 1806, the Swiss confectioner Lorenz Caviezel set up his confectioner’s workshop and shop front in the same location. In 1864, the business was bought by the Baltic German confectioner Georg Stude, who joined it to the building on the adjacent lot. It began to produce hand-crafted marzipan figurines and chocolate sweets and cakes, and a café was opened. It is like that to this day.

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Extremely endangered species

Did you know that the only place in the world to have succeeded in propagating and preserving three extremely endangered fern species from the island of Kaua’i (Hawaiian Islands) is Tallinn Botanic Garden?

There, you can enjoy one of the biggest plant collections in the Baltic States.

Once a year, the Queen of the Night entrances visitors with its beauty.

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The model for the world – Luscher & Matiesen

Did you know that in the 1930s the model for the world’s juice industry was set by the fresh juices made by Luscher & Matiesen in Tallinn?

In 1934, Dimitri Matiesen began to produce unfermented and unpasteurised fruit and berry juice for his uncle’s winery. In 1936, a congress on unfermented juices was held in Berlin, with 22 countries participating and the world’s renowned experts and specialist researchers repeatedly citing Luscher & Matiesen’s achievements as an example for others.

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From Peter I with love

Did you know that if Peter I had conquered Tallinn as early as 1703, St Petersburg would not have been built?

At the behest of Peter I, an Italianate Baroque palace and garden, something that was unique in the Nordic countries, was built at Kadriorg as a summer residence for the czars. In addition to the renowned Italian architect, Nicola Michetti, Czar Peter I was personally involved in the design of the palace. The entire palace and the park that surrounds it bears the name of the czar’s consort, Catherine I.

In the twentieth century, the palace was the home of the first president of the Republic of Estonia, and for some decades afterwards it belonged to the Art Museum of Estonia. Currently, the palace houses exhibits which showcase Western European art, with the highlights being a collection of art from the Low Countries, a collection of Germany prints, and Russian art from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

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Estonian sumo wrestler in Japan

Did you know that one of the most famous sumo wrestlers in Japan is the Estonian Kaido Höövelson?

Kaido Höövelson (sumo wrestler name: Baruto Kaito 把瑠都 凱斗,meaning “Man from the Baltic States” and also “Balti Sea”) is the first Estonian to become a professional sumo wrestler in Japan. Kaido went to Japan in 2004 and accomplished a meteoric rise to the level of ōzeki in 2010, winning the hearts of millions of fans in the process. Kaido, who ended his sumo career due to a knee injury, hosts guests in his native homeland at Barto Guest House in Lääne-Viru County and organises trips to Estonia through the travel agency Barto Tours.

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Black Nights Films

Did you know that Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinna Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival in Estonian or PÖFF for short) is in an elite category of 50 A-category film festivals in the world?

The wolf symbol takes on a multidimensional meaning during the period from November to December: according to the traditions of the Nordic countries, it is the time of reincarnation.

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Estonian History Museum

Did you know that the oldest object with the likeness of a dragon in Continental Europe was found in Tallinn?

The knife sheath, presumably made in London in the 13th century, is in the archaeological collection of the Estonian History Museum.

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The lake formed by the tears of a woman

Did you know that there is a lake right beside Tallinn Airport that was formed by the tears of a woman?

One of the best known sites of tradition is Linda’s Stone in Lake Ülemiste, dropped by Linda – mother of Estonians’ mythical national hero, the strongman Kalevipoeg – who shed a lake of tears around it.

Tallinn, which presses up against the lake, however, must never be completed – or else, the Old Man of Ülemiste living in the lake will flood the whole city. Estonia’s landscape abounds in wonderful and interesting stories, which you can learn more about at the Estonian Folklore Archives or by using the various databases compiled by folklorists, which are available at www.folklore.ee/ebaas.

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