Thursday, 14 June 2012

General Impressions of Tallinn, the capital of young Estonia

In some of our blog articles, we write about the history of a country but this is not possible in Estonia, it is a new republic born out of the Soviet Union in 1991. The country is only 22 years old next August but that is not the case for the buildings. The historical city of Tallinn is old with some of the original houses and churches dating from the 13th century. Nice examples are the connected houses of the three sisters which are more than 600 years old. The capital is split in two parts, a modern area and the old city. Many of the defence walls and gates of the city are still intact, and the roads are all in cobble stones. We have the impression that the local population is introvert, suspicious and have a hard life. It seems that the government tries to invest a lot in a positive image of Tallinn with the restoration of monuments, holding events and landscaping parks. A very good initiative and the economy grows with the arrival of large volumes of tourists. The country still has to work on openness; surveillance cameras are everywhere in the streets and you are not allowed to take pictures in most places.

In sommige blogartikelen schrijven we over de geschiedenis van een land, maar in Estland is dit niet mogelijk, deze republiek werd geboren uit de Sovjet Unie in 1991. Het land wordt in augustus slechts 22 jaar oud maar dit is zeker niet het geval voor de gebouwen. De historische stad van Tallinn is echt oud met huizen en kerken daterende uit de 13de eeuw. Een mooi voorbeeld zijn de “drie zusters”, 3 huizen aan elkaar verbonden van meer als 600 jaar oud. De hoofdstad is opgesplitst in een modern en historisch gedeelte. Vele van de verdedigingsmuren en torens zijn nog steeds intact en de wegen zijn in bijna allemaal gemaakt uit keikoppen of individuele stenen. We hebben de indruk dat de bevolking teruggetrokken is, argwanend en een hard leven heeft. De overheid probeert te investeren in het imago van Tallinn door de restauratie van monumenten, organisatie van evenementen en het aanleggen van parken. Een goed initiatief, want de economie groeit duidelijk met de komst van vele toeristen. Het land dient nog echter te werken aan openheid, overal op straat staan ongelooflijk veel camera's en op de meeste plaatsen is het niet toegelaten foto’s te nemen.. 
 
Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General

Tallinn General


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14 comments:

  1. looks very colourful and interesting, I would love to visit myself one day...

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  2. Tallin is very beautiful town. It is the nearist town where we can find the old-town, and many finish people travel there a lot.
    Your fotos are again beautifull.
    Greetings
    orvokki

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  3. I wish I can visit Euro... specially during Euro 2012 is going on xD

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  4. Mooie foto's en altijd goede info.

    Groet, Joop

    vertel me eens even waar jullie nog niet zijn geweest?....hahaha

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  5. Although young in history, it certainly has stunning long time standing buildings, of great design! I like the sign hung over the door, nicely printed!

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  6. Wonderful place! I've always wanted to visit. Thanks for showing us around!

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  7. Alweer een supermooie, verzorgde stad, Filip !
    Lie(f)s.

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  8. Lots of REALLY good pictures!!! They need to lighten up. If they do not allow pictures, tourists will not come. No one wants to go on a vacation where they can't take pictures. They need to realize that tourism will bring in lots of money. But maybe they just don't care and value their secrecy more than anything. That is a shame, since there are so many awesome things to show off there.

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  9. That is a very interesting little?? restaurant??, the third from the last photo... almost looks as if it is in a cave. Also very interesting houses, and 600 years old. They definitely do not build houses in Texas that would last 600 years. Pretty amazing and they still look great. Estonia looks lovely and filled with history even though it is a young country.

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  10. Impressive place and your pictures are wonderful!I like the overview of the citz and the last one is pure artwork, congrats!
    Leia

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  11. _The country still has to work on openness; surveillance cameras are everywhere in the streets and you are not allowed to take pictures in most places._


    Very misleading! I'm a native Tallinner and I am aware of only one place where taking pictures is not allowed - inside the Russian orthodox church in Old Town. While Estonian people are rather reserved and introvert, as are most people from the north, I do believe we are quite open to different views, ideas and beliefs.

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    Replies
    1. Dear native Tallinner,

      Thank you for your comments. I wrote about the impression I had when visiting your beautiful city. It was my intention to trigger an initiative from people of Tallinn to improve this and receive even more tourists in the future. I regret to read that you find it "very misleading". I think we all see things from our own perspective.

      Places I went to were we could not take any pictures: Axelandr Nevsky Cathedral (as you mentioned), Cathedral of Saint Mery the Virgin, shop in Rahukothu street, shop in Pikkjalg street, major shopping centre on Sadama). Most shops display typical Estonian items and give an impression of the country. A pity you are not allowed to use your camera to get an impression.

      I am posting this openly because I don't have your email on your comment. You probably have it on "no reply settings".

      I wish you all the best and be proud to live in such a beautiful historical town.

      Kind regards,
      Filip Demuinck

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  12. Nice blog, but I just wanted to add that:

    I think it is misleading to say "we write about the history of a country but this is not possible in Estonia, it is a new republic born out of the Soviet Union in 1991".
    Estonia didn't born out of the USSR, it was occupied for some time. Estonia declared indipendence in 1918. I know what you mean but you make it sound like there was no Estonia before - you can start talking about its history starting from the end of the last ice age when estonians' ancestors arrived there.

    and "you are not allowed to take pictures in most places"? Sounds like North-Korea. I don't know any public place where it is forbidden (expect museums).


    Huh, I hope I didn't sound like some estonian who is having a hard life :D. Anyway - it is very interesting to read your honest impressions about different countries and places.


    Best wishes,

    Marten


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