Tallinn, Estonia

According to abbreviationfinder, Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, 0–65 m above sea level, on the partly steep coast of Tallinn Bay (southern coast of the Gulf of Finland), (2019) 434 600 residents.

Tallinn is the evangelical archbishop’s seat as well as the country’s economic, scientific and cultural center with the Estonian Academy of Sciences, university (founded in 2005), technical university, art academy, conservatory and others. Universities, national library (since 1993) and numerous museums (including a large art museum, opened in 2006), several theaters, philharmonic orchestra, zoological and botanical gardens and film studios. The Song Festival (around 30,000 participants) takes place in Tallinn every five years.

As the economic center of Estonia, the Tallinn area accounts for around 60% of the total Estonian gross domestic product involved. The most important industrial sectors are mechanical engineering and shipbuilding, automotive suppliers, electrotechnical and electronic (including information and communication technologies), textile (especially cotton processing) and clothing, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical as well as food industry, wood and metal processing; Publishing and printing. During the 1990s, the strong growth of the service sector (in particular business-oriented services, banks, trade) led to a major economic change; east of the old town, new city centers developed through the establishment of corporate headquarters. Tourism is playing an increasingly important role economically.

Tallinn is the most important transport hub in Estonia, has two ice-free trading ports (ferry port with connections to Helsinki, Stockholm and Kiel; since 1986, new deep-sea port Muuga 20 km outside the city), a fishing port and an international airport. At the mouth of the Pirita (in the northeast) is the seaside resort of Pirita, the site of the 1980 Olympic sailing competitions.


Tallinn is characterized by the contrast between the Toompea (48 m above sea level) above the city with fortifications from the 13th century, the cathedral (13th – 15th centuries, tower from 1778), the governor’s palace (1767–76, from Johann Schulz, today the seat of government), the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (1894–1900, by Mikhail Preobrazhensky), the Parliament (1920s, by Herbert Johanson and Eugen Haberman) and the fortified lower town with St../16th century rebuilt, spire 1695; with fragment of the “Dance of Death Frieze” by B. Notke, 15th century), Heiliggeistkirche (14th century, with altar by Notke, 1483) and Olaikirche (core 13th / 14th century, rebuilt in the 15th century; renovated after fires in the 17th and 19th centuries), town hall (14th / 15th century), House of the Great Guild (1407– 10), House of the Blackheads (15th / 16th century) and the group of houses “Three Sisters” (15th century). Upper and lower town (old town of Tallinn; UNESCO World Heritage Site) were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. The city wall, which was partly removed in the 18th century, is one of the most magnificent in Northern Europe with its length (1.85 km) and its 28 towers.

In the 19th century, Tallinn grew beyond the limits of the medieval city center; i.a. the German Theater (1910, by Alexsei Bubyr and Nikolai Wassiljew) and the Estonia Theater (1909-13, by Armas Lindgren) were built. Badly damaged in the Second World War, the old town was rebuilt. In 2006 it was designed by the Finnish architect Pekka Vaapavuori KUMU art museum, the largest art museum in the Baltic States, opened. In 2007 Tallinn got a synagogue again, the first synagogue in Estonia since the Second World War. Outside the old town, high-rise buildings (Hotel Viru) and satellite cities were built. Worth mentioning in the eastern part of the city are the former Katharinental Palace (Kadriorg, built 1718–23 for Peter I); in Pirita the ruins of the former Brigitten monastery (1407–36, destroyed in 1577); in Rocca al Mare the largest Estonian open-air museum (farmhouses from the 18th / 19th centuries).


Created in the 10th century fortified settlement of Estonians Lindanise (in Russian chronicles as Kolyvan known) was first mentioned in 1154. Conquered and re-fortified by the Danes in 1219, it was given the name Reval. After the Danish defeat at Bornhöved (1227), the Order of the Brothers of the Sword founded a German city near them, which was given Luebian law in 1230 and joined the Hanseatic League in 1285. With the Teutonic Order since 1346, the city (the majority of the population were Estonians, the Germans formed the upper class) developed into a main port for trade with Russia. In 1561 Reval came with Estonia to Sweden, during the Great Northern War in 1710 to Russia (administrative center of the Estonian governorate); 1918–40 it was the capital of the independent Republic of Estonia, 1940–90 of the Estonian SSR, and since then the Republic of Estonia again.

Tallinn, Estonia