Thursday 16 May 2013

Reval or Tallinn?

Sailing in the Baltic Sea is a real summer holiday: a calm sea, bright sunshine and a blue sky. Arriving in time in the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, in the morning all of us looked forward to leave MV FRAM and went into the town; either on our own or on an excursion. Tallinn is a beautiful old town founded in the middle age. The most prosperous period was during the time, when the town was a member of the Hanseatic League. Tallinn, with a population of 8,000 during that time, was very well fortified with city walls and 40 defence towers. Still today there are 26 towers and 50% of the wall to see.

One group went on a walking tour from the Domberg, the former upper part of Tallinn, seat of the central authority and the Cathedral.
We visited the cathedral and the Russian orthodox church of Alexander Nevskij. On our way to the lower town we followed the longest mediaeval street which led us to the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads. We had a short break and enjoyed the performance of a dance-group.

The market-place was shown to us with the town hall in gothic style and some of us used the time to visit the oldest pharmacy in Europe from 1422. But one of the best things was just to stroll around and have a closer look into the tiny, little shops and galleries.

One group went for a bike ride in the old town and also in the younger parts of the city. On the panoramic tour we visited also the Kadriorg Palace, originally planned by Tsar Peter the Great, today a lovely baroque castle with a beautiful park. On our way back we stopped at the ruins of the former Pirita Convent dedicated to St. Brigitta and founded around 1400.

Unfortunately we had to leave the wonderful old town of Tallinn in the afternoon. But there is still the question, Reval or Tallinn? Both names are known for the capital of Estonia, but Reval is the old name given by the German knights and Tallinn is the right and today only used name.
Later on board we listened to some more lectures or enjoyed the sunshine on the deck.