There’s a host of top Historic Sites in Estonia to visit and among the very best are Pirita Convent, Toompea Castle and Barclay de Tolly Mausoleum.
We’ve put together an experts guide to Estonian cultural places, landmarks and monuments, with our top ten places to visit as well as a full list of Historic Sites in Estonia, which shouldn’t be ignored if you have the time.
What are the best Historic Sites in Estonia?
Pirita Convent was an important 15th century nunnery of the order of St. Bridget and now stands as a picturesque ruin in modern-day Estonia.
At the time it was constructed, the city of Tallinn – where it was based – was already a trading hub and the idea to build Pirita Convent was first mooted by some of its merchants. Yet, it would take several years to begin building the convent.
Pirita Convent would continue orperating for some 150 years, eventually suffering destruction at the hands of Russian forces in 1575.
Toompea Castle in Tallinn is the site of the Estonian Parliament and has been a central administrative and military centre for hundreds of years.
Today, Toompea Castle reflects the numerous phases of its construction, with medieval fortifications blending into latter-period Czarist architechture and the early 20th century parliament building (the Riigikogu). Visitors can also see the famous Pikk Hermann tower, which stands 46m high and is an Estonian national icon.
The Barclay de Tolly Mausoleum is the final resting place of Field Marshal Mikhail Andreas Barclay de Tolly, one of the most talented military commanders in Russian history and a key contributor to Russia’s victory over Napoleon in the 1812 and 1813-15 campaigns.
Inside the mausoleum is a grandiose funerary monument, the work of sculptor Vasily Demut-Malinovsky. The caskets of Barclay and his wife Auguste Eleanora are placed in a vault beneath the mausoleum. According to local testament, the embalmed body of the Russian Field Marshal was once on display in the 1950s-60s though the coffin is now closed.