Congress Excursion Program will be held on April 27 from 14:15 to 17:15. Tours start and end at Nordic Hotel Forum.
Tallinn bus tour - 3 hours
Bus tour 3 hours
Start: Nordic Hotel Forum
The bus tour starts from point 0 in Tallinn and offers a thorough cross-section of the city, as it passes through many very different areas. First, the road leads to Kadriorg district, were the 18th century Kadriorg Palace, the President's Palace and KUMU - Estonia's most important art museum, are located. What cannot be seen from the bus window is compensated by the guide's comprehensive background explanations of when, why and who built the royal baroque summer residence in this northern corner of Europe.
We will see the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljäk) and talk about the tradition of the Song Festivals, which is included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
We continue to Pirita district along the seaside Pirita road passing the Maarjamäe History Museum complex and the Memory Field. We talk about Tallinn as the 2023 green capital of the EU and about more general topics of life in Tallinn and Estonia.
The 21st century city and gentrification will somewhat surprisingly be seen in Kalamaja (Fish House) district, the oldest suburb of Tallinn still boasting with its authentic wooden architecture.
In the Middle Ages city`s cows and horses were grazed there but in the beginning of the 20th century some most influential investors in Europe like Emanuel Nobel and Arthur Lessner found it to be a suitable place for their submarine building business.
We will visit the Seaplane Harbour and the museum inside the hangars, unique in the architectural history of the world as one of the first reinforced concrete shell constructions.
On the way back to the hotel we see the modern and fashionable Noblessner quarter.
Walking tour in the old town - 3 hours
The tour starts from the Nordic Hotel Forum on Viru Square, which is also Tallinn's 0 point. This is where the calculation of distances starts in Estonia and to major centers around Estonia - St. Petersburg, Riga, Helsinki, Stockholm.
We talk about the Rotermann quarter, where the Nordic Hotel Forum is located, a former industrial area now gentrified and what exciting things can be found there (Estonian Design House, Kalev candy store, shops, good restaurants and cafes).
Tallinn's geographical location introduces the theme of the medieval old town and Hanseatic trade. We enter the old town through Viru gates and walk through Müürivahe street to Katariina passage, the former quarter of the Dominican monastery of St Cathrine built in the 13th Century. In addition to information about history, the guide also points out the workshops of the Katariina guild and the Master's courtyard.
Using the examples of medieval merchant houses and the Olde Hansa warehouse in the Old Market area, we explain the nature of the Hanseatic League and even possible similarities with the modern EU (successful trade needs peace and stability - this in turn requires agreements between the parties).
On Raekoja plats (Town Hall square) you can see the gothic Town Hall, which was mentioned for the first time 700 years ago, and the 600-year-old pharmacy Raeapteek. We talk about the role of Estonians in the german speaking Hanseatic city and we will also draw attention to Estonian Handicraft stores that sell genuine Estonian handicrafts. Through Saiakäik (White Bread passage) we move to Pikk street (Long street) and talk about the Great Guild from 1410 and other medieval guilds nearby.
We take the Long Leg street to the upper town of Toompea (Dome Hill), where we talk about the relations between the lower town and the upper town, the role of the central government and local governments throughout the ages and the relationship between the secular government and the church. Toompea nowadays is also the seat of Estonian government and Parliament.
The viewing platforms offers great opportunities for memorable photo captures.
To get down to the lower town we take the Short Leg street and by Kuninga and Viru street we come back to the hotel.