Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Week 22 Report

As I said in last week's post, I recently spent a weekend in Tallinn. I was very lucky as the weather was gorgeous that weekend. The team who went last weekend described themselves as - cold and wet! Above is a photo of the main square or valjak in front of the town hall. As you can see, on a good day, of which there are many in the summer, I promise, the square is full of visitors and Tallinners strolling around, looking in shops and enjoying a glass of beer or wine, or maybe a shot or two of viini - which is Estonian for vodka - not to be confused with veini - which of course is wine.

After the STATS, there'll be more photos of this gorgeous medieval city that is our capital.

Week 22 STATS
Miles walked or cycled: 18
Total covered: 428
Still to go: 30
Days walked: 4
Location in relation to Frodo: We cross a small stream before taking a rest stop

This wonderful piece of 16th century carving is on the wall
of a church in the old town, very near the valjak.

Tallinn is one of the oldest cities in the north Baltic. The name Tallinn is said to be a corruption of the expression Dani - Linn or Danish castle, for the kingdom that conquered it in 1219.

It's 14th century medieval walls are still intact, making it possible to see what life in a fortified town might have looked like - minus the cafes, restaurants and shops, of course.

Kateriina Passage, reached through a tunnel in the walls, still has the feel of the past.

The grave markers of some of the ruling Teutonic Knights have been attached to the walls near one end of the passage.

The city's fortunes went through many changes over the years. It was a part of the Hanseatic League as well as an important agricultural trading centre after WW I allowed Estonia to wrest its independence from the Soviets in 1918.

This building facade, reminiscent of The Netherlands show the influence of the city's trading past.

In the early 20th century as the Art Nouveau movement was spreading it's curlicued tendrils all across Europe, the north Baltic was also affected by this fever, but changing and adapting it into a peculiarly Northern expression - Jugendstill.

While Riga has many more of these extravagantly decorated buildings, the few that are here are especially interesting .

So, Tallinn rooftops sleeping in the sun as they have for so many hundreds of years. That's it for this week!


Leatherdykeuk said...

What a lovely town,

spacedlaw said...

Greta post! The medieval streets are particularly appealing. And the terrace...

martha said...

Thanks Rachel. We like it.

N. The summer terraces are wonderful. We have some great ones here in Kuressaare as well - will post on that later.We may not have much summer, but we make the most of it.

stephanie said...

I love the clock and the grave marker. These are all wonderful photos. No wonder you love everything "over there" so much!

martha said...

Thank you. Yes, it can all be just a little bit like a fairy tale land - when the sun shines.