If you believe Estonian folklore then Toompea Hill was the creation of a woman in mourning, a tribute to her one great love.
The legend goes that Linda, wife of Kalev (a mythological king in ancient Estonia) tirelessly carried huge limestone rocks piling them over 25 metres high. Those rocks would later form the mound we know as Toompea hill today.
The story continues that afterwards she sat atop it crying endless tears of sorrow. Tears that flowed down to form Lake Ulemiste the largest lake surrounding Tallinn.
Whatever its origin, today, Toompea Hill is the place to be if you want to enjoy the most splendid views of Tallinn. Home to Toompea Castle as well as the iconic Alexander Nevsky cathedral it’s a fitting starting point for any trek into the old town.
A jewel of Estonia, Tallinn is an enchanting, beautifully preserved example of medieval architecture. With its ancient buildings and cobbled streets, it hints at a rich and chequered past. It was a thrill to finally strike it off my bucket list on what proved to be too brief a visit. Here are a few impressions in pictures of a truly magical place.
Now a baroque structure, the original stone fortress was built over a three year period starting in 1227. The castle has always been the seat of power as every empire that has ruled Estonia has used it as a base.
A distinctive pink building, today Toompea Castle is home to Estonia’s parliament.
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Across from Toompea Castle is the imposing Alexander Nevsky Cathedral built between 1894 and 1900 while Estonia was under Russian rule. It is Tallinn’s most extravagant orthodox church.
Walking around Toompea Hill
In the Old Town
Old town scenes
Beyond the Old Town.