Swedish Language Blog

Tallinn Posted by on Aug 26, 2010 in Culture

The Estonian capital used to belong to the Swedish Empire between 1561–1721, after the Big Nordic War the Estonian and Livonian parts got under Russian rule and the rest is basically history. Walking around in Old Town (Toompea) you can see some traces of Swedish culture from the Swedish reign-period. Chruches like Svenska Kyrkan Sankt Mikael and one of the main towers are Swedish built for example.

 However Tallinn is a mixture of different cultures. Mainly a cultural merge of Estonian and Russian. Breathtakingly beautiful buildings and very good and quite cheap restaurants with good cusine. Skip the restaurants at the Town Hall Square. They are all tourist traps and the food is not the best. If you want to eat really good food I would recommend two restaurants that I have visited. One is Kloostri Ait where the service is excellent and you get quality food for quite cheap price being a down-town restaurant. I uploaded a picture about it but you can google the place as well. The other one is a more expensive one near to the Town Hall Square. At the restaurant they have a unique dessert that I would recommend for everyone. The garlic ice cream. Sounds weird? Belive me it is very very good. The place is called Balthasar and it has a very cosy bower during the summer.

The funny thing about Tallinn is that in Old Town they don´t usually add roads, streets, stairs and so on after the street names. For example: Lai, Lühike jalg (Wide, Short Leg) etc. On the first and second picture you can see an Estonian collegue and friend of mine Oksana who was an excellent guide for walking around in Old Town. She had her 15 minutes of fame in the film Vizit Damy under this very balcony on Pikk (that is the street´s name..means Long) on the first picture.  Nice childhood memories! These pictures were taken just few days before her Swedish wedding in Tallinn. Congrats once again! Oh and today it is her birthday by the wat so Very Happy birthday to her and for everyone who has on the 26th of August.

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  1. Ann:

    I live in Tallinn and my family have benefitted from the Swedish Öppna Förskola that is held in the basement of the Swedish church 2 mornings a week. At the International School there are quite a few Swedish families (thank you Ericsson). In fact, the Swedish chamber of commerce here is having a kräftskiva next week. What else Swedish — well thanks to the nearness of Finland there are two radio stations broadcast in Swedish. It was here in fact that I started feeling comfortable in speaking Swedish.

  2. Tibor:

    Hi Ann,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Who knows maybe you can start your own club soon in Tallinn. So if anyone is looking for Swedish connection, maybe the school or the church is a good gathering point.

  3. Sula:

    Tallin really is a beautiful city. But what I like the most about it is the friendliness of the people, always smiling and ready to help.