Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tallinn Lower Town

The first two photos below are the entrance gate to the Lower part of the old medieval city.

A narrow alley by the church
Now quite a distance from the harbor, this used to be the harbor gate in the 14th-century, before the land started to rise. This 16th-century addtion, a stocky cannon tower, became a jail for political prisoners in Tsarist times, and was set on fire during the Russian Revolution.

This colorful 1587 doorway belongs to the house of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, whose patron saint was the African St. Mauritius (his profile can be seen above the door). The Blackheads were an association of Baltic German bachelor merchants, goldsmiths, and intellecturals, founded in 1399 and disbanded only after the Soviet takeover in 1940. They were keen patrons of the art, as well as wild party-throwers...

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