Tallinn City Walls - History and Facts | History Hit

Tallinn City Walls

Tallinn, Estonia

Peta Stamper

29 Sep 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Tallinn City Walls

With almost 2 kilometres of its original city wall and 20 defensive towers wall still standing, Tallinn City Walls are one of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications. In fact, what gives Tallinn’s Old Town its fairytale-like charm is the system of 13th century walls and towers that encircle it.

Tallinn City Walls history

The first wall around Tallinn was ordered to be constructed by Margaret Sambiria in 1265 and for that reason, it gained the name of ‘Margaret Wall’. This wall was less than 5 metres high and about 1.5 metres thick at its base. Since then, it has been enlarged and strengthened.

In the 14th century, inhabitants of Tallinn were required to turn out for guard duty, wearing their armour and showing their readiness to face off enemy invaders.

Tallinn City Walls today

Today, roughly half of the original towers still watch over Old Town, evoking images of heroic armour-clad knights. Many of the Town Wall’s towers serve as museums, for those wanting to dig deeper into the city’s history.

To get a look at the wall from the inside, head to these three towers at the northwest corner of Old Town. Here visitors can climb up from Nunna tower and explore the towers and wall, as well as enjoy a picturesque view of the red-tiled roofs of Old Town.

The best places to see the wall are the Patkuli viewing platform from up on Toompea Hill and Tornide väljak (Towers’ Square).

Getting to Tallinn City Walls

Located in the city centre, Tallinn City Walls are but a 5 minute walk from the main train station. There is also parking just around the corner off Gümnaasiumi street.

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