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Discovering Historical Tallinn, Estonia

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 101

Tallinn is the largest city and capital of the country of Estonia, which is one of the least populous members of the European Union. Visits to Tallinn can give students a glimpse of the history of a city that seems a bit out of the way for school trips, but in actuality is a perfect way to experience a mix of Baltic and European culture at its best.

Located on the northern coast of Estonia, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, this city is a global one that has been ranked as one of the top digital cities in the world. Contrasting its modern embracement of media, culture, and business, Tallinn has an Old Town that is steeped in history and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. While you are in Tallinn, you should take time to explore the historic centre, the Kadriorg Palace, and St. Mary's Cathedral.

Historic Centre - Going on school trips to Tallinn will undoubtedly take you into the Historic Old Town Centre and expose the wonderful history of this ancient city whose beginnings date back to the 13th century. The opulent houses and churches in the Old Town date from Tallinn's time as a major medieval trading city in Europe. The churches, especially, are large and showcase the strength and power that was invested in Tallinn over the centuries. The small and winding streets, many of which retain their medieval names, make for an excellent place to wander and get the feel of the way Tallinn was hundreds of years ago. After strolling the narrow streets, go to Town Hall Square and admire the burgher houses such as the House of the Great Guild (1410), which is a stunning example of Northern Gothic architecture.

Kadriorg Palace - The Kadriorg Palace and Park were built during the 18th century by Tsar Peter I as a summer residence for Catherine, his Empress. Over the years, Catherine lost interest in the great palace and it was almost forgotten until the early 1900s. In 1921, it became The Estonia Museum of Art, but was closed eight years later while the palace was being converted to become the president's new home. Over the subsequent years, the palace has been home to several art museums, but was eventually closed in 1991 after falling into disrepair. Now, school trips to the palace will take you into the building, which has been restored and re-opened as one of the branches of the main museum, and these days houses the main collection of foreign art. The Kadriorg Palace is located at Weizenbergi 37.

St. Mary's Cathedral - Sitting up on Toompea Hill, is Tallinn's oldest church (and the oldest church in mainland Estonia), St. Mary's Cathedral. School trips to the church will reveal how it was originally established in the 13th century by the Danes as a Roman Catholic cathedral, but was changed over to the Lutheran faith in 1561. In the 17th century, the wooden structure was severely damaged by fire, and though it was repaired almost exactly as before, some of the stone works were badly damaged. Today, the church is a beautiful white-painted structure with the fa├žade dating back to the 15th century, with the interior furnishings coming from the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a fascinating piece of Tallinn's living history.

Angela Bowden works for STS (School Travel Service), the UK's largest educational travel company, providing school trips for secondary schools, primary schools and colleges. School trips with STS can encompass art/design, foreign languages, history, science/nature, geography and more, to worldwide destinations.

Source: EzineArticles
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