Rapid industrialisation intensified urbanisation and the number of Estonians in Tallinn increased. The first Estonian newspaper of the city was published in 1901 by Konstantin Päts, a soon to be leader of Estonian politics and in 1904 the city council acquired a series of influential Estonian members with an actual leverage, like Konstantin Päts himself,  Voldemar Lender and Jaan Teemant. Voldemar Lender became the first ethnic Estonian mayor of Tallinn in 1906. The attempt to Russify Estonia was in essence producing a completely opposite reaction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balti_jaamhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Nevsky_Cathedral,_Tallinn#/media/File:Catedral_de_Alejandro_Nevsky,_Tallin,_Estonia,_2012-08-11,_DD_46.JPGhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts#/media/File:Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts,_ERM_Fk_2625-74.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voldemar_Lender#/media/File:Voldemar_Lender.jpg

Russia’s efforts to integrate Estonia worked in the benefit of Tallinn’s economy that was booming based on the needs and demands of a vast Russian market. A series of new factories and a pair of military ship-yards were established catapulting Tallinn’s population to more than 100.000 in just a few years. A new type of housing known as Lender Houses with symmetrical facades and cheap construction costs shaped the cityscape of the new suburbs. The number of employed Estonian workers grew significantly.

The two main undercurrents in European politics, nationalism and socialism often clashed with each other. When the latter surged the first Russian revolution of 1905, the two converged in the case of Estonia with revolution directed against both the absolutist power and the Baltic German upper classes. Remnants of the feudal order, class-related Baltic German privileges, insufficient land and national oppression were the targets of the Estonian freedom movement.

The massive demonstrations in Estonia had started in May 1905 and in October the demonstrators of Tallinn counted their first victims when the army opened fire, killing 94 and wounding more than a hundred. Tsar Nicholas II was forced to grant the citizens’ rights on 17 October 1905. The first legal parties were established in Estonia and despite their nuances they all demanded democratic and civil rights with the most radical asking also for the right to national self-determination, autonomy and local government.

https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/discover/articles-guides/kalamajahttp://estonia-paradise-of-the-north.blogspot.com/2014/10/remembering-victims-of-1905-revolution.htmlhttp://estonia-paradise-of-the-north.blogspot.com/2014/10/remembering-victims-of-1905-revolution.html

WWI forced ethnic Estonians to choose a side between the warring Germans and Russians. With the majority of the land still under the control of ethnic Germans and the fears of Germanisation and the loss of their ethnic identity being high, Estonian politicians chose the side of Russia. More than 100.000 Estonians had to join the Russian army and all aspects of the local economy were committed to the needs of the army. Two days before the October Revolution in St. Petersburg in 1917, the Estonian Bolsheviks led by Jaan Anvelt staged a successful coup and took over the control of Tallinn. The Autonomous Governorate of Estonia would only last until February, when just a day after the first Declaration of Estonian Independence (24 February 1918), the country was invaded by the Second German Empire and captured Tallinn (25 February 1918). A few months later (November 1918) the German revolution this time would again upturn things with the power handed over to the National Estonian government. In order to keep their independence however they would again have to fight, this time against the advancing Red Army.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaan_Anvelt#/media/File:Jaan_Anvelt_1925.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts#/media/File:Tallinn24Feb1918.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_War_of_Independence#/media/File:Estonian_soldiers_at_Constituent_Assembly_election.jpg

The Soviet army was successfully repelled with the help of 4000 Finish volunteers and a cargo of weapons delivered by the British Royal navy. Contrary to the pessimist premonitions, Estonians held their ground and in 1920 forced the Bolsheviks to sign a peace treaty, paid for by the lives of more than 2.300 men. More than 13.000 were wounded. Estonia was finally independent. Tallinn would serve as the capital of the new Estonian Republic and Toompea Castle as the seat of the Estonian government.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_War_of_Independence#/media/File:VambolaMarines1919.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_War_of_Independence#/media/File:FinnVlntrsTllnnDc1918.jpg

What was evident in the years between the two great wars in Tallinn was an intensive investment on the capital’s railroad network and on its cultural and educational foundations. The National Library of Estonia, the Tallinn College of Engineering (later University of Technology), the Higher Music School (later Estonian Academy of Music), the Art Museum of Estonia, the Estonian Symphony Orchestra were all established in the interwar period.

In 1940 the liberal constitution of the young Estonian democracy was abolished and Tallinn was annexed by the Soviet Union along with the rest of the country. Soviet repression and mass deportations to Siberia were followed by a Nazi invasion in July 1941, which forced the Soviets to evacuate Tallinn. Most Estonians greeted the Germans with relatively open arms, many of them invoking of their German origin. Soon the German Security Police got to work and the shy hope of any autonomy was shattered. By early 1942 the remaining 1000 Estonians of Jewish origin were killed and 8.000 more followed their fate based on accusations of cooperation with the Soviet regime. A total of more than 45.000 war prisoners held in Estonia perished due to exhaustion and disease.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Estonia_in_World_War_IIArrival in Tallinn, recorded on 2 September 1941. Many young Estonians participate in the aftermath of the advance of the Wehrmacht and participate in extermination actions. The Jewish population of Estonia is almost completely murdered.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_K%C3%BCchler#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-B08041,_Reval,_Besuch_General_Georg_v._K%C3%BCchler_in.jpg

Tallinn was bombed on several occasions by the Soviets with the heaviest air raids happening in 1944 when more than 800 residents lost their lives and about 20,000 of them lost their homes. By September 1944 Estonia had been abandoned by the German troops opening the door for a new round of upheaval. The Soviets rushed in to fill the gap. More self-exiles, more deportations, more repression was in store. The ones who were left behind were living in a state of terror. The Soviet iron curtain was drawn and Tallinn found itself behind it.

The iron grip of Kremlin would last until 1991. During the years of the Soviet rule, Tallinn grew significantly in terms of population, from 127,000 towards the end of WW2 to 410,000 in 1977, to 478,000 in 1989. It also grew industrially despite the fact that most of the factories were linked with the Soviet military needs. There were some examples of out-of-the-ordinary Soviet architecture that were added in Tallinn’s cityscape like the Okta Centrum, the Linnahall and that of the National Library, that went the extra mile within the general lines of Soviet aesthetics.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:National_Library_of_Estonia_building#/media/File:Estonian_national_library.jpghttps://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/top-10-most-bizarre-soviet-buildings-in-estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnahall

The first major cracks of the Soviet regime started to become evident after the introduction of the Perestroika reformation in 1987. In June 1988 in the Old Town festival some of the participants started singing old patriotic songs, a first shy sign of a bolder expression by the people. A few months later in the so called Baltic Way (or Chain of Freedom), a human chain of about two million people joined their hands from Tallinn to Riga and Vilnius demonstrating their desire for independence. Their dream would become reality in 1991. On the 20th of August, Estonia declared its independence. Three years later the last units of the Russian army left Estonia for ever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Way#/media/File:Balti_kett_22.jpghttps://estonianworld.com/life/estonia-celebrates-the-day-of-restoration-of-independence/https://estonianworld.com/life/estonia-celebrates-the-day-of-restoration-of-independence/

Although Tallinn’s population has remained more or less steady since the 90’s to a little bit more than 400,000 residents, the capital’s economy accounts to more than half of Estonia’s total GDP. The country is at the forefront of liberalism in the European Union (a member since 2004) and Tallinn is of course the country’s power-house. Estonia is famed nowadays for its business friendly environment and software economy and a large part of it is centered in Tallinn’s Tornimäe business district, an area packed with cutting edge skyscrapers and modern buildings.

On the other hand Tallinn’s Old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered as an outstanding example of international secular-ecclesiastical culture resulting from the interchange of Cistercians, Dominicans, the Teutonic Order and the traditions of the Hanseatic League. The old town preserves to a remarkable extent the medieval urban structure of building plots, streets and squares, set out in the 13th century, as well as medieval urban fabric. The radial street network is well endowed with buildings from the 14th-16th centuries. The town defences have been preserved over large sections at their original length and height, rising to over 15m in places.In addition to architectural continuity, Old Town has retained its traditional use as a living city, hosting domestic, commercial and religious functions, and retaining the upper town as the administrative centre of the country. (More)

https://pixabay.com/de/photos/tallin-estland-baltikum-reval-4716204/https://pixabay.com/de/photos/tallinn-t%C3%BCrme-estland-altstadt-3499557/https://pixabay.com/photos/tallinn-city-tourism-584127/https://pixabay.com/de/photos/tallinn-estland-architektur-geb%C3%A4ude-2112190/

The Estonian capital is the mirror image of the increasing self-confidence of the Estonian nation. The threads that connect its past and present intertwine in Tallinn’s Old Town and economic districts. The rainy season in Estonia is to a large extent a whole year deal so its better for visitors to pack for all seasons, even in the height of summer. Late spring  and early autumn, is probably the greatest time to visit when the weather is still warm and Estonia’s countryside is awash with colour. A safe choice despite the cold is always Christmas time, with Tallinn dressed in beautiful lights and perfumed by the scent of traditional open-air markets and mulled wine.

https://pixabay.com/photos/tallinn-architecture-home-town-3345274/https://pixabay.com/de/photos/megalopolis-reise-stadt-3253029/

https://pixabay.com/photos/estonia-tallinn-historic-center-3729913/

The Russian Era started with Tallinn trying to stand on its feet, not so much because of the change in power, or the damage in its structure. The largest change occurred in the human capital, with the city experiencing the loss of more than half of its total population mostly due to the plague. In 1714 Tsar Peter I of Russia acquired a humble little manor house (today Museum – House of Peter the Great) and used it as his residence during his first visits. He particularly liked the view of the sea and the harbor from Lasnamägi Hill behind the manor. It made it possible to observe the hostile vessels that patrolled the Gulf of Finland due to the ongoing Great Northern War (1700-1721). Four years later he acquired the lands surrounding the manor and started building Kadriorg Palace and the park ensemble in honor of his wife Catherine I of Russia. The Tsar’s first place of residence in the park became known as the old palace. That first Russian addition to the city’s landscape followed the popular Baroque style of the era, a style the Tsar had introduced to Russia following his visits to France, a few years earlier.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/peter-the-great-house-museumhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadriorg_Palace

After the Treaty of Nystad in 1721 the territories conquered by the Russians in the Great Northern War were organised in the Reval Governorate, with Tallinn as the capital. Towards the end of the century it would be renamed as the Governorate of Estonia. Contrary to what one would believe there was no Russian elite that came to Tallinn to take the city’s helm. The people of German origin, that had never stopped being the majority of the population in Tallinn were restored to their ancestral privileges as the ruling elite. That made their relation with the Russian Court even smoother than the one to the people of Estonian origin. A new military port was constructed and new naval enterprises were founded. The population quickly bounced back. Tallinn started thriving again.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_kubermanghttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjodor_Apraksinhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mellin_Atlas_von_Lieffland_Tallinn.png

In the second half of the 18th century, a group of educated upper class Germans with time in their hands delved into the native Estonian culture and started promoting the native language, romanticized its traditions and local folklore. Following the values of the Enlightenment, they founded scientific societies, published school texts, books and newspapers, created national epic tales like the  Kalevipoeg. The Bible was translated in Estonian and the number of books and brochures published in Estonian increased from about 15 in the 1750′ s to more than 50 in the 1790’s. The movement, known as Estophilia would continue well into the 19th century and would lead to the Estonian national awakening of the 1850’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estophiliahttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_sadam

In the first half of the 19th century, a paper mill, a tea factory and a machinery factory were established. The population of the capital went from 6,950 people in 1772 to 12,000 in 1816, to 24,000 in 1850. The abrupt increase of the population in such a small period created sanitary problems. The sanitary problems created epidemics. The cholera hit Tallinn first in 1831 and again in 1848, taking the lives of nearly 2,000 people. The urgent renovation of Tallinn’s infrastructure wouldn’t be over until 1885 when a new main pipeline running from Lake Ülemiste to Raekoja plats (Town Hall Square) and from there to all the streets of the Old Town. The Toompea sewerage plan followed suit.

http://www.helsinki.fi/envirohist/seaandcities/cities/tal/tal_tech.htmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinn

In 1870, the new Baltic Railway (Balti jaam) united Tallinn with St. Petersburg and other parts of the Russian Tsardom, greatly boosting trade links. The machinery industry, the pulp and paper industry developed and a new gas factory was founded. By the end of the 19th century horse drawn Tram had started roaming the streets, the Toompea was administratively united with Reval and the city had broken out of its tight fortress confinement. St. John’s Church and Kaarli Church were built for the Estonian congregations and the Orthodox Nevsky Cathedral as part of the Tsarist Russification policies that were intensified after the unification of Germany in 1871 and the fears of a possible insurgence of the Baltic Germans. Nationality was a concept that was only just beginning to resurface as the old empires started to lose ground to national states and Estonians were being left out of Tallinn’s affairs for too long.

 

Although the war with Russia reached Tallinn two times, it was the outskirts outside its walls that paid the price, not Tallinn. The Swedish crown didn’t change many things in Estonia. Tallinn remained the capital of the country (the northern part of today’s Estonia) and seat of its government. Τhe Lübeck Rights were preserved. Although the authority of the Town Council was significantly curtailed, the different customs of the towns along the Gulf of Finland (except for Vyborg) were leased to Tallinn until 1629 after a proposal of Gustav II Adolf. According to the lease agreement; the only towns with a right to have warehouses for foreign merchants in the area became Tallinn and Vyborg. The most important contribution of the Swedes was in the field of education with the founding of the Reval Gymnasium (1631) and a university, the second in the Swedish Empire, in the city of Tartu (1632) while they also contributed greatly in the establishment of several printing houses across Estonia.  Tallinn’s printing house played a major role in publishing the work of local literates and books in Estonian language.

Early Adulthood

After a great fire in 1684 that obliterated the upper town of  Toompea, all wooden buildings were prohibited. In the same time a project for reinforcement and modernization of the city’s defense system was set in motion. Τhe upper town started to take its current form and a new underground network of passages and tunnels was dug underneath Harju Hill and Linda Hill at the edge of Toompea.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/bastion-passages-in-the-tallinn-old-townhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajalugu#/media/File:Revali_muldkindlustused_enne_1710._aastat.jpg

Towards the end of the 17th century it was obvious that the fragile truce between the two main competitors of the Baltic would again reach a boiling point. The Great Northern War started in 1700. Despite the effort and the money spent by the Swedes for their construction, the defensive tunnels were never used for that purpose. When the Russians finally invaded in 1710, most of the town’s population had already been wiped out by a plague that had been ravaging the whole region since 1708. The Defenders of the city were very weak to make a stand so Tallinn was in essence handed out to the Russians without a fight.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/bastion-passages-in-the-tallinn-old-townhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_War#/media/File:Great_Northern_War_Part2.png

By mid 16th century, the branch of the Teutonic Order controlling what we today identify as Latvia and Estonia, known then as the Livonian Confederation (the Livonian Brothers of the Sword had seized the lands from the Danes in the beginning of the 13th c.) had been weakened especially after the secularization of its assets and properties by several Protestant princes. In 1555 the two main cities of Livonia, Riga and Reval (Tallinn) declared Lutheranism as their official religion of preference.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_Warhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonia

It wasn’t just the religious reshuffling that changed the face of Europe in the 16th century. The old world was changing fast and some couldn’t keep up. The outdated ships of the Hanseatic League couldn’t match with the modernized navies of Denmark and Sweden or compete in equal terms with armies of rising superpowers like Russia. In 1558 in a clash of Northern Titans, the Tsardom of Russia entered a war against the Kingdom of Sweden, the Dano-Norwegian realm and the Polish-Lithuanian Union for the control of the Baltic trade. The Livonian War would last until 1583. The nobility of Livonia promptly recognized the Swedish crown (a defender of Protestants) as its overlord so Tallinn became part of the Swedish kingdom in 1561. The Swedish Era of Estonia would open a new chapter in the city’s history that would last until 1710.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_War#/media/File:Livonia_in_1534_(English).pnghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_Swedes

 

 

Very quickly the increased trade created wealth and that was reflected in the new city hall, into its newly paved roads, the new water and sewerage installations, into its growing capacity of storage for commercial goods. The 15th century would be Tallinn’s first golden age with the different guilds  acquiring more power by the day something that became evident in their new guild halls.  Several religious orders and brotherhoods built their abbeys and monasteries during that time, the first religious schools were established and the first written references of a hospital were also recorded.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_raekodahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:St._Catherine%27s_Monastery_(Tallinn)#/media/File:Dominiiklaste_kloostri_hoov_2007.jpg

The first Lutheran preachers came to Tallinn in the beginning of 1520’s and quickly earned the support of a respected number of Tallinners. In the autumn of 1524 a crowd of fervent Protestants ransacked the three major Churches, Oleviste Kirk, the Holy Ghost Church and the Dominican St. Cathrine’s Church and stripped them of their ornaments. Instead of the start of a feud, a hunt of the troublemakers or a violent reprisal, the Town Council started to take measures that would bring their Church closer to Reformation. The church coffers were placed under a common treasury (Gemeine Kasten) that was to function as a centralized social welfare fund. The Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine was dissolved and the property of the Order was declared the property of the city.

By 1525 the only Catholic establishment remaining in the Lower Town was St. Michael’s Cistercian nunnery which mainly continued to function as a charity. Catholic processions ceased and Catholic holidays like that of the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other saints were transferred to Sundays. The town council established a contact with Martin Luther himself who recommended the first Evangelical superintendent in essence the first Lutheran Bishop in 1533 (source: Re-forming texts, music, and church art in the Early Modern North by Tuomas Lehtonen, Linda Kaljundi).

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajaluguhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_toomkirikhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%BCha_Katariina_klooster

Although the population of the Duchy in the latter half of the 13th century was overwhelmingly German (about 80%) the viceroy who ruled the Duchy in the name of the King of Denmark was either a Dane or of Danish-Estonian nationality. In 1332 the King of Denmark Christopher II died and plunged his realm into chaos. The Duchy of Estonia became divided into a pro-Danish and a pro-German party. The native Estonians did try to rid themselves from both (St. George’s Night Uprising in 1343) but they were defeated by the Teutonic Order. A few days after the Estonian downfall , the Danish government of Reval (Tallinn) was overthrown too by the pro-German party and the city was handed over to the German order. Three years later Denmark was forced to completely renounce its rights to the Duchy and sell it to the Teutonic Order. Tallinn would officially be a German city for the next 200 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Estonia_(1219%E2%80%931346)

At the time of the German takeover the population of the twin city is estimated to about 1000 people in total. The German order had both the political and military power. The two soon proved to be the main pillars for the growth of local trade that was also aided by the fact that most transactions were conducted in German language, something that helped transactions with the rest of the German-speaking cities. The city castle was expanded, the defensive moats were widened and a series of new defensive towers like the Pikk Hermann surrounded what we today know as the old town of Tallinn. The Duchy was governed by the Master of the Order who was stationed in the castle and the city by the town council, a group of  the most influential and richest residents, mostly merchants who had come from Westphalia and Rhineland.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajaluguhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikk_Hermannhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompea

When the town of Visby was taken by the Danes its ties with the Hanseatic League were severed and the role of Tallinn was further upgraded. Salt, grain and wine from the south was delivered through the port of Tallinn to Finland and Russia, metals, wood and fish went the other way round. Although the number of native Estonians started to increase as the need for working hands grew, the majority leaved outside the city walls. They would preserve their language and culture despite their exclusion from the administration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League

In 1227 the German warrior monks known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword (German crusaders) conquered the Danish castle and started building a new one out of stone on the southwestern corner of Toompea Hill. They also built the first stone cathedral on the center of the hill in the place of a wooden one built by the Danes in 1219. Soon a first wave of 200 German merchants settled in the new German outpost. The Order was decimated in the Battle of Saule in 1236 against the Lithuanians with the surviving Livonian Brothers being incorporated into the Order of Teutonic Knights who in 1238 returned Northern Estonia (and Tallinn) to the Danes. The new cathedral that had been left unfinished was completed and consecrated by the Danes n 1240. The hill-town of Tallinn would be the capital of Danish Estonia for more than 130 years (1346).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_Brothers_of_the_Swordhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompeahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Estonia_(1219%E2%80%931346)

By the end of the 13th century Tallinn had evolved into a dual body of an upper (Toompea / Castle) and a lower town. The castle was more densely populated while the lower town had acquired its administrative autonomy and an autonomous council. The two were deemed as one entity, the capital of the Danish Duchy of Estonia that had city rights equal to other German merchant cities like Lübeck, a city network which would later evolve into the powerful Hanseatic League.

 

Even before the city of Tallinn came to be, the area was occasionally inhabited first by hunter-gatherer tribes and then during the Bronze Age, when today’s suburban Iru became a site of a first fort and settlement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinnhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iru,_Tallinnhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunda_culture

The people living in the area were first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus around 98 AD as Aesti. A bit later, in the 6th century the name of Estonia comes up for the first time in the writings of the Roman statesman and renowned scholar Cassiodorus.

The trade route in the Gulf of Finland became more widely used during the 9th and 10th century. Around that time (between 10th and 11th) we have evidence of the first castle on the hill of Toompea, the historic birthplace of Tallinn described in the epic tales of Estonian mythology known as Kalevipoeg.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevipoeghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompeahttps://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/see-do/sightseeing/pid-177324/glehn-park

The hill-fort on Toompea was only occasionally inhabited, despite its role in the protection and control of its surrounding territory later, known then as Revala. When Pope Celestine III called for a crusade to Christianize the last remaining pagans of Europe towards the end of the 12th century the German and Danish swords stormed the lands of modern Latvia and Estonia. King Valdemar II of Denmark along with a number of bishops and vassal counts reached the shores of Revala in June of 1219. The crusaders camped at the old hill-fort of Revala.

On the 15th of June 1219 an army of Estonians came charging from 5 different directions to defend their homeland. In the Battle of Lindanise the Danes managed to prevail in the end after a legendary incident that became the founding story of their national flag (the Dannebrog). The new castle built by King Valdemar II’s army in the place of the old fort would from then on be known as Reval (official name of Tallinn until the year 1918). The modern name of Tallinn used after 1918 is mostly believed to derive from the words Castrum Danorum (Latin), in Estonian Taani-linn, meaning Danish castle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lyndanisse

Even before the city of Tallinn came to be, the area was occasionally inhabited first by hunter-gatherer tribes and then during the Bronze Age, when today’s suburban Iru became a site of a first fort and settlement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinnhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iru,_Tallinnhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunda_culture

The people living in the area were first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus around 98 AD as Aesti. A bit later, in the 6th century the name of Estonia comes up for the first time in the writings of the Roman statesman and renowned scholar Cassiodorus.

The trade route in the Gulf of Finland became more widely used during the 9th and 10th century. Around that time (between 10th and 11th) we have evidence of the first castle on the hill of Toompea, the historic birthplace of Tallinn described in the epic tales of Estonian mythology known as Kalevipoeg.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevipoeghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompeahttps://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/see-do/sightseeing/pid-177324/glehn-park

The hill-fort on Toompea was only occasionally inhabited, despite its role in the protection and control of its surrounding territory later, known then as Revala. When Pope Celestine III called for a crusade to Christianize the last remaining pagans of Europe towards the end of the 12th century the German and Danish swords stormed the lands of modern Latvia and Estonia. King Valdemar II of Denmark along with a number of bishops and vassal counts reached the shores of Revala in June of 1219. The crusaders camped at the old hill-fort of Revala.

On the 15th of June 1219 an army of Estonians came charging from 5 different directions to defend their homeland. In the Battle of Lindanise the Danes managed to prevail in the end after a legendary incident that became the founding story of their national flag (the Dannebrog). The new castle built by King Valdemar II’s army in the place of the old fort would from then on be known as Reval (official name of Tallinn until the year 1918). The modern name of Tallinn used after 1918 is mostly believed to derive from the words Castrum Danorum (Latin), in Estonian Taani-linn, meaning Danish castle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lyndanisse

In 1227 the German warrior monks known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword (German crusaders) conquered the Danish castle and started building a new one out of stone on the southwestern corner of Toompea Hill. They also built the first stone cathedral on the center of the hill in the place of a wooden one built by the Danes in 1219. Soon a first wave of 200 German merchants settled in the new German outpost.

The Order was decimated in the Battle of Saule in 1236 against the Lithuanians with the surviving Livonian Brothers being incorporated into the Order of Teutonic Knights who in 1238 returned Northern Estonia (and Tallinn) to the Danes. The new cathedral that had been left unfinished was completed and consecrated by the Danes n 1240. The hill-town of Tallinn would be the capital of Danish Estonia for more than 130 years (1346).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_Brothers_of_the_Swordhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompeahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Estonia_(1219%E2%80%931346)

By the end of the 13th century Tallinn had evolved into a dual body of an upper (Toompea / Castle) and a lower town. The castle was more densely populated while the lower town had acquired its administrative autonomy and an autonomous council. The two were deemed as one entity, the capital of the Danish Duchy of Estonia that had city rights equal to other German merchant cities like Lübeck, a city network which would later evolve into the powerful Hanseatic League.

Although the population of the Duchy in the latter half of the 13th century was overwhelmingly German (about 80%) the viceroy who ruled the Duchy in the name of the King of Denmark was either a Dane or of Danish-Estonian nationality. In 1332 the King of Denmark Christopher II died and plunged his realm into chaos. The Duchy of Estonia became divided into a pro-Danish and a pro-German party. The native Estonians did try to rid themselves from both (St. George’s Night Uprising in 1343) but they were defeated by the Teutonic Order. A few days after the Estonian downfall , the Danish government of Reval (Tallinn) was overthrown too by the pro-German party and the city was handed over to the German order. Three years later Denmark was forced to completely renounce its rights to the Duchy and sell it to the Teutonic Order. Tallinn would officially be a German city for the next 200 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Estonia_(1219%E2%80%931346)

At the time of the German takeover the population of the twin city is estimated to about 1000 people in total. The German order had both the political and military power. The two soon proved to be the main pillars for the growth of local trade that was also aided by the fact that most transactions were conducted in German language, something that helped transactions with the rest of the German-speaking cities.

The city castle was expanded, the defensive moats were widened and a series of new defensive towers like the Pikk Hermann surrounded what we today know as the old town of Tallinn. The Duchy was governed by the Master of the Order who was stationed in the castle and the city by the town council, a group of  the most influential and richest residents, mostly merchants who had come from Westphalia and Rhineland.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajaluguhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikk_Hermannhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toompea

When the town of Visby was taken by the Danes its ties with the Hanseatic League were severed and the role of Tallinn was further upgraded. Salt, grain and wine from the south was delivered through the port of Tallinn to Finland and Russia, metals, wood and fish went the other way round. Although the number of native Estonians started to increase as the need for working hands grew, the majority leaved outside the city walls. They would preserve their language and culture despite their exclusion from the administration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League

Very quickly the increased trade created wealth and that was reflected in the new city hall, into its newly paved roads, the new water and sewerage installations, into its growing capacity of storage for commercial goods. The 15th century would be Tallinn’s first golden age with the different guilds  acquiring more power by the day something that became evident in their new guild halls.  Several religious orders and brotherhoods built their abbeys and monasteries during that time, the first religious schools were established and the first written references of a hospital were also recorded.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_raekodahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:St._Catherine%27s_Monastery_(Tallinn)#/media/File:Dominiiklaste_kloostri_hoov_2007.jpg

The first Lutheran preachers came to Tallinn in the beginning of 1520’s and quickly earned the support of a respected number of Tallinners. In the autumn of 1524 a crowd of fervent Protestants ransacked the three major Churches, Oleviste Kirk, the Holy Ghost Church and the Dominican St. Cathrine’s Church and stripped them of their ornaments. Instead of the start of a feud, a hunt of the troublemakers or a violent reprisal, the Town Council started to take measures that would bring their Church closer to Reformation. The church coffers were placed under a common treasury (Gemeine Kasten) that was to function as a centralized social welfare fund. The Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine was dissolved and the property of the Order was declared the property of the city.

By 1525 the only Catholic establishment remaining in the Lower Town was St. Michael’s Cistercian nunnery which mainly continued to function as a charity. Catholic processions ceased and Catholic holidays like that of the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other saints were transferred to Sundays. The town council established a contact with Martin Luther himself who recommended the first Evangelical superintendent in essence the first Lutheran Bishop in 1533 (source: Re-forming texts, music, and church art in the Early Modern North by Tuomas Lehtonen, Linda Kaljundi).

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajaluguhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_toomkirikhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%BCha_Katariina_klooster

By mid 16th century, the branch of the Teutonic Order controlling what we today identify as Latvia and Estonia, known then as the Livonian Confederation (the Livonian Brothers of the Sword had seized the lands from the Danes in the beginning of the 13th c.) had been weakened especially after the secularization of its assets and properties by several Protestant princes. In 1555 the two main cities of Livonia, Riga and Reval (Tallinn) declared Lutheranism as their official religion of preference.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_Warhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonia

It wasn’t just the religious reshuffling that changed the face of Europe in the 16th century. The old world was changing fast and some couldn’t keep up. The outdated ships of the Hanseatic League couldn’t match with the modernized navies of Denmark and Sweden or compete in equal terms with armies of rising superpowers like Russia.

In 1558 in a clash of Northern Titans, the Tsardom of Russia entered a war against the Kingdom of Sweden, the Dano-Norwegian realm and the Polish-Lithuanian Union for the control of the Baltic trade. The Livonian War would last until 1583. The nobility of Livonia promptly recognized the Swedish crown (a defender of Protestants) as its overlord so Tallinn became part of the Swedish kingdom in 1561. The Swedish Era of Estonia would open a new chapter in the city’s history that would last until 1710.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_War#/media/File:Livonia_in_1534_(English).pnghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_Swedes

Although the war with Russia reached Tallinn two times, it was the outskirts outside its walls that paid the price, not Tallinn. The Swedish crown didn’t change many things in Estonia. Tallinn remained the capital of the country (the northern part of today’s Estonia) and seat of its government. Τhe Lübeck Rights were preserved. Although the authority of the Town Council was significantly curtailed, the different customs of the towns along the Gulf of Finland (except for Vyborg) were leased to Tallinn until 1629 after a proposal of Gustav II Adolf. According to the lease agreement; the only towns with a right to have warehouses for foreign merchants in the area became Tallinn and Vyborg. The most important contribution of the Swedes was in the field of education with the founding of the Reval Gymnasium (1631) and a university, the second in the Swedish Empire, in the city of Tartu (1632) while they also contributed greatly in the establishment of several printing houses across Estonia.  Tallinn’s printing house played a major role in publishing the work of local literates and books in Estonian language.

Tallinn

After a great fire in 1684 that obliterated the upper town of  Toompea, all wooden buildings were prohibited. In the same time a project for reinforcement and modernization of the city’s defense system was set in motion. Τhe upper town started to take its current form and a new underground network of passages and tunnels was dug underneath Harju Hill and Linda Hill at the edge of Toompea.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/bastion-passages-in-the-tallinn-old-townhttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_ajalugu#/media/File:Revali_muldkindlustused_enne_1710._aastat.jpg

Towards the end of the 17th century it was obvious that the fragile truce between the two main competitors of the Baltic would again reach a boiling point. The Great Northern War started in 1700. Despite the effort and the money spent by the Swedes for their construction, the defensive tunnels were never used for that purpose. When the Russians finally invaded in 1710, most of the town’s population had already been wiped out by a plague that had been ravaging the whole region since 1708. The Defenders of the city were very weak to make a stand so Tallinn was in essence handed out to the Russians without a fight.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/bastion-passages-in-the-tallinn-old-townhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_War#/media/File:Great_Northern_War_Part2.png

The Russian Era started with Tallinn trying to stand on its feet, not so much because of the change in power, or the damage in its structure. The largest change occurred in the human capital, with the city experiencing the loss of more than half of its total population mostly due to the plague.

In 1714 Tsar Peter I of Russia acquired a humble little manor house (today Museum – House of Peter the Great) and used it as his residence during his first visits. He particularly liked the view of the sea and the harbor from Lasnamägi Hill behind the manor. It made it possible to observe the hostile vessels that patrolled the Gulf of Finland due to the ongoing Great Northern War (1700-1721). Four years later he acquired the lands surrounding the manor and started building Kadriorg Palace and the park ensemble in honor of his wife Catherine I of Russia. The Tsar’s first place of residence in the park became known as the old palace. That first Russian addition to the city’s landscape followed the popular Baroque style of the era, a style the Tsar had introduced to Russia following his visits to France, a few years earlier.

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/peter-the-great-house-museumhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadriorg_Palace

After the Treaty of Nystad in 1721 the territories conquered by the Russians in the Great Northern War were organised in the Reval Governorate, with Tallinn as the capital. Towards the end of the century it would be renamed as the Governorate of Estonia. Contrary to what one would believe there was no Russian elite that came to Tallinn to take the city’s helm.

The people of German origin, that had never stopped being the majority of the population in Tallinn were restored to their ancestral privileges as the ruling elite. That made their relation with the Russian Court even smoother than the one to the people of Estonian origin. A new military port was constructed and new naval enterprises were founded. The population quickly bounced back. Tallinn started thriving again.

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_kubermanghttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjodor_Apraksinhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mellin_Atlas_von_Lieffland_Tallinn.png

In the second half of the 18th century, a group of educated upper class Germans with time in their hands delved into the native Estonian culture and started promoting the native language, romanticized its traditions and local folklore. Following the values of the Enlightenment, they founded scientific societies, published school texts, books and newspapers, created national epic tales like the  Kalevipoeg. The Bible was translated in Estonian and the number of books and brochures published in Estonian increased from about 15 in the 1750′ s to more than 50 in the 1790’s. The movement, known as Estophilia would continue well into the 19th century and would lead to the Estonian national awakening of the 1850’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estophiliahttps://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinna_sadam

In the first half of the 19th century, a paper mill, a tea factory and a machinery factory were established. The population of the capital went from 6,950 people in 1772 to 12,000 in 1816, to 24,000 in 1850. The abrupt increase of the population in such a small period created sanitary problems. The sanitary problems created epidemics. The cholera hit Tallinn first in 1831 and again in 1848, taking the lives of nearly 2,000 people. The urgent renovation of Tallinn’s infrastructure wouldn’t be over until 1885 when a new main pipeline running from Lake Ülemiste to Raekoja plats (Town Hall Square) and from there to all the streets of the Old Town. The Toompea sewerage plan followed suit.

http://www.helsinki.fi/envirohist/seaandcities/cities/tal/tal_tech.htmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinn

In 1870, the new Baltic Railway (Balti jaam) united Tallinn with St. Petersburg and other parts of the Russian Tsardom, greatly boosting trade links. The machinery industry, the pulp and paper industry developed and a new gas factory was founded. By the end of the 19th century horse drawn Tram had started roaming the streets, the Toompea was administratively united with Reval and the city had broken out of its tight fortress confinement.

St. John’s Church and Kaarli Church were built for the Estonian congregations and the Orthodox Nevsky Cathedral as part of the Tsarist Russification policies that were intensified after the unification of Germany in 1871 and the fears of a possible insurgence of the Baltic Germans. Nationality was a concept that was only just beginning to resurface as the old empires started to lose ground to national states and Estonians were being left out of Tallinn’s affairs for too long.

Rapid industrialisation intensified urbanisation and the number of Estonians in Tallinn increased. The first Estonian newspaper of the city was published in 1901 by Konstantin Päts, a soon to be leader of Estonian politics and in 1904 the city council acquired a series of influential Estonian members with an actual leverage, like Konstantin Päts himself,  Voldemar Lender and Jaan Teemant. Voldemar Lender became the first ethnic Estonian mayor of Tallinn in 1906. The attempt to Russify Estonia was in essence producing a completely opposite reaction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balti_jaamhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Nevsky_Cathedral,_Tallinn#/media/File:Catedral_de_Alejandro_Nevsky,_Tallin,_Estonia,_2012-08-11,_DD_46.JPGhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts#/media/File:Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts,_ERM_Fk_2625-74.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voldemar_Lender#/media/File:Voldemar_Lender.jpg

Russia’s efforts to integrate Estonia worked in the benefit of Tallinn’s economy that was booming based on the needs and demands of a vast Russian market. A series of new factories and a pair of military ship-yards were established catapulting Tallinn’s population to more than 100.000 in just a few years. A new type of housing known as Lender Houses with symmetrical facades and cheap construction costs shaped the cityscape of the new suburbs. The number of employed Estonian workers grew significantly.

The two main undercurrents in European politics, nationalism and socialism often clashed with each other. When the latter surged the first Russian revolution of 1905, the two converged in the case of Estonia with revolution directed against both the absolutist power and the Baltic German upper classes. Remnants of the feudal order, class-related Baltic German privileges, insufficient land and national oppression were the targets of the Estonian freedom movement.

The massive demonstrations in Estonia had started in May 1905 and in October the demonstrators of Tallinn counted their first victims when the army opened fire, killing 94 and wounding more than a hundred. Tsar Nicholas II was forced to grant the citizens’ rights on 17 October 1905. The first legal parties were established in Estonia and despite their nuances they all demanded democratic and civil rights with the most radical asking also for the right to national self-determination, autonomy and local government.

https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/discover/articles-guides/kalamajahttp://estonia-paradise-of-the-north.blogspot.com/2014/10/remembering-victims-of-1905-revolution.htmlhttp://estonia-paradise-of-the-north.blogspot.com/2014/10/remembering-victims-of-1905-revolution.html

WWI forced ethnic Estonians to choose a side between the warring Germans and Russians. With the majority of the land still under the control of ethnic Germans and the fears of Germanisation and the loss of their ethnic identity being high, Estonian politicians chose the side of Russia. More than 100.000 Estonians had to join the Russian army and all aspects of the local economy were committed to the needs of the army. Two days before the October Revolution in St. Petersburg in 1917, the Estonian Bolsheviks led by Jaan Anvelt staged a successful coup and took over the control of Tallinn. The Autonomous Governorate of Estonia would only last until February, when just a day after the first Declaration of Estonian Independence (24 February 1918), the country was invaded by the Second German Empire and captured Tallinn (25 February 1918). A few months later (November 1918) the German revolution this time would again upturn things with the power handed over to the National Estonian government. In order to keep their independence however they would again have to fight, this time against the advancing Red Army.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaan_Anvelt#/media/File:Jaan_Anvelt_1925.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_P%C3%A4ts#/media/File:Tallinn24Feb1918.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_War_of_Independence#/media/File:Estonian_soldiers_at_Constituent_Assembly_election.jpg

The Soviet army was successfully repelled with the help of 4000 Finish volunteers and a cargo of weapons delivered by the British Royal navy. Contrary to the pessimist premonitions, Estonians held their ground and in 1920 forced the Bolsheviks to sign a peace treaty, paid for by the lives of more than 2.300 men. More than 13.000 were wounded. Estonia was finally independent. Tallinn would serve as the capital of the new Estonian Republic and Toompea Castle as the seat of the Estonian government.

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What was evident in the years between the two great wars in Tallinn was an intensive investment on the capital’s railroad network and on its cultural and educational foundations. The National Library of Estonia, the Tallinn College of Engineering (later University of Technology), the Higher Music School (later Estonian Academy of Music), the Art Museum of Estonia, the Estonian Symphony Orchestra were all established in the interwar period.

In 1940 the liberal constitution of the young Estonian democracy was abolished and Tallinn was annexed by the Soviet Union along with the rest of the country. Soviet repression and mass deportations to Siberia were followed by a Nazi invasion in July 1941, which forced the Soviets to evacuate Tallinn. Most Estonians greeted the Germans with relatively open arms, many of them invoking of their German origin. Soon the German Security Police got to work and the shy hope of any autonomy was shattered. By early 1942 the remaining 1000 Estonians of Jewish origin were killed and 8.000 more followed their fate based on accusations of cooperation with the Soviet regime. A total of more than 45.000 war prisoners held in Estonia perished due to exhaustion and disease.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Estonia_in_World_War_IIArrival in Tallinn, recorded on 2 September 1941. Many young Estonians participate in the aftermath of the advance of the Wehrmacht and participate in extermination actions. The Jewish population of Estonia is almost completely murdered.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_K%C3%BCchler#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-B08041,_Reval,_Besuch_General_Georg_v._K%C3%BCchler_in.jpg

Tallinn was bombed on several occasions by the Soviets with the heaviest air raids happening in 1944 when more than 800 residents lost their lives and about 20,000 of them lost their homes. By September 1944 Estonia had been abandoned by the German troops opening the door for a new round of upheaval. The Soviets rushed in to fill the gap. More self-exiles, more deportations, more repression was in store. The ones who were left behind were living in a state of terror. The Soviet iron curtain was drawn and Tallinn found itself behind it.

The iron grip of Kremlin would last until 1991. During the years of the Soviet rule, Tallinn grew significantly in terms of population, from 127,000 towards the end of WW2 to 410,000 in 1977, to 478,000 in 1989. It also grew industrially despite the fact that most of the factories were linked with the Soviet military needs. There were some examples of out-of-the-ordinary Soviet architecture that were added in Tallinn’s cityscape like the Okta Centrum, the Linnahall and that of the National Library, that went the extra mile within the general lines of Soviet aesthetics.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:National_Library_of_Estonia_building#/media/File:Estonian_national_library.jpghttps://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/top-10-most-bizarre-soviet-buildings-in-estoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnahall

The first major cracks of the Soviet regime started to become evident after the introduction of the Perestroika reformation in 1987. In June 1988 in the Old Town festival some of the participants started singing old patriotic songs, a first shy sign of a bolder expression by the people. A few months later in the so called Baltic Way (or Chain of Freedom), a human chain of about two million people joined their hands from Tallinn to Riga and Vilnius demonstrating their desire for independence. Their dream would become reality in 1991. On the 20th of August, Estonia declared its independence. Three years later the last units of the Russian army left Estonia for ever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Way#/media/File:Balti_kett_22.jpghttps://estonianworld.com/life/estonia-celebrates-the-day-of-restoration-of-independence/https://estonianworld.com/life/estonia-celebrates-the-day-of-restoration-of-independence/

Although Tallinn’s population has remained more or less steady since the 90’s to a little bit more than 400,000 residents, the capital’s economy accounts to more than half of Estonia’s total GDP. The country is at the forefront of liberalism in the European Union (a member since 2004) and Tallinn is of course the country’s power-house. Estonia is famed nowadays for its business friendly environment and software economy and a large part of it is centered in Tallinn’s Tornimäe business district, an area packed with cutting edge skyscrapers and modern buildings.

On the other hand Tallinn’s Old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered as an outstanding example of international secular-ecclesiastical culture resulting from the interchange of Cistercians, Dominicans, the Teutonic Order and the traditions of the Hanseatic League. The old town preserves to a remarkable extent the medieval urban structure of building plots, streets and squares, set out in the 13th century, as well as medieval urban fabric. The radial street network is well endowed with buildings from the 14th-16th centuries. The town defences have been preserved over large sections at their original length and height, rising to over 15m in places.In addition to architectural continuity, Old Town has retained its traditional use as a living city, hosting domestic, commercial and religious functions, and retaining the upper town as the administrative centre of the country. (More)

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The Estonian capital is the mirror image of the increasing self-confidence of the Estonian nation. The threads that connect its past and present intertwine in Tallinn’s Old Town and economic districts. The rainy season in Estonia is to a large extent a whole year deal so its better for visitors to pack for all seasons, even in the height of summer. Late spring  and early autumn, is probably the greatest time to visit when the weather is still warm and Estonia’s countryside is awash with colour. A safe choice despite the cold is always Christmas time, with Tallinn clad in beautiful lights and traditional blissfully scented open-air markets.

Whatever the season Tallinn definitely deserves a visit.

https://pixabay.com/photos/tallinn-architecture-home-town-3345274/https://pixabay.com/de/photos/megalopolis-reise-stadt-3253029/

https://pixabay.com/photos/estonia-tallinn-historic-center-3729913/

https://kingofshooting.com/https://kingofshooting.com/

The King of Shooting welcomes all the city visitors to its Tallinn shooting range where they will have an unforgettable experience of shooting real firearms. As a professional shooting tour operator, the King of Shooting will provide your shooting event with transportation to the shooting range, professional instructors, video and photo as a memory of your visit, and, of course, a great mood. The Tallinn team of the King of Shooting offers wide range of pistols and rifles for shooting. Every visitor can choose to shoot from the legendary Russian assault rifle AK-47, aka Kalashnikov, as well as from a gun used in American action movies – the Winchester, also called the Pump. Shoot like the characters of the world’s most famous action movies and have a memorable time! For those people confident about their capabilities and precision, the King of Shooting offers special clay pigeon shooting. Shoot the flying clay pigeons with real shot gun and prove your shooting skills. For the real party seekers and action lovers, the King of Shooting offers the paintball experience. Enjoy this military game with your friends during your visit to Estonia. More

https://kingofshooting.com/tallinnhttps://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=kingofshooting&set=a.517106625044572