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Cathedrals and churches in Tallinn: a variety of architecture and creeds

If you look at Tallinn from the observation deck, it becomes obvious: the image of the Old Town is created by ancient cathedrals and numerous churches. Most of them are included in tourist guides in the capital of Estonia, as they are the central attractions of the city.

Religious buildings of different eras

The vast majority of the cathedrals of the Estonian capital were erected in the Middle Ages, but only a few today have become museums. The bulk of the churches are operational. Every traveler has the opportunity to attend worship in the daytime, and worship is not important. In Tallinn, more than 200 churches of various faiths coexist peacefully:
Orthodox churches;
Lutheran (Protestant);
Baptist churches;
Methodist Church;
Muslim mosques;
Adventist Temples;
Jehovah’s Witnesses;
churches for representatives of other faiths (Pentecostals, Taarusk, Maausk, Old Believers, Congregationalists).
Some cathedrals organize concerts of organ classical music. The schedule and venue of such events must be obtained in advance from tour operators, local guides or on the official websites of the capital of Estonia.

In our article we will try to get a general picture of Old Tallinn with its religious institutions. We highlight the main details and important information about most temples. Let us present a list of the most famous cathedrals of the capital, popular among local parishioners and tourists.

Church of Olevist (St. Olav)

Open from 10 to 18 daily. Here is the highest tower of the city (60 m). Ascent to the landmark costs 3 euros. Upstairs is an observation deck with incredible landscapes in the vicinity of the city, sea, port. From here you will get original photos as a keepsake, there will be a lot of positive emotions. But the path to the site along a narrow stone staircase in the form of a serpentine, with cable handrails, is time consuming and extreme.

In winter and in adverse windy weather, the entrance to the tower is closed. In Tallinn, it is forbidden to build houses and buildings that would be taller than this church.

Below for visiting there is a small church. You can put candles, retire to a prayer shop.

St. Nicholas

Open from 10 to 17, except Sunday (this day is open until 15.00). The Orthodox Church was erected in 1030. The service is held only on weekends. Price per candle – 1 euro and above.

Admission is not taken if there is no organ music concert on the day of the visit. In that part of the cathedral, where the Art Museum is located, a ticket will cost 6 euros. Guides take 40 minutes on a tour.

Inside there is an old iconostasis in luxurious salaries, an authentic large-sized icon lamp, the painting “Danse Macabre” by the famous L. Notke. Here is the resting place of St. Arseniy Matsievich.

Photographing the interior is prohibited.

Consistory of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

Free admission. Built opposite the Dome Cathedral, the Estonian Parliament. It used to be the residence of bishops. The new chapel on the site was built a quarter century ago.

The exterior beauty of the building attracts tourists. The attraction has become a place for stopping walking tours of the Old Capital. Today it is an active church. In a small shop at the entrance they sell souvenirs, postcards with the image of interior items, icons.

Taking photos of the interior is prohibited.


It is located next to Freedom Square on the outskirts of Old Tallinn. The church is active (Lutheran), built in the Neo-Gothic style. Exterior decoration – chimes on the wall between two paired towers that impress city guests with scale.

Interior with excellent acoustics. From time to time concerts are held – organ, cello. Duration – 1.5 hours. The poster with the announcement is placed on the information stand. The event is mainly held on Tuesdays, once a week.

The church was built on the site of an old wooden one, from which only the Swedish bell survived after the fire. At the entrance are booklets with detailed information, the history of the building (in Russian, including).

Synagogue Beit Bella

This construction of an unusual design will certainly attract the attention of a tourist. A modern, moderately pathos building. The synagogue was erected in 2007 by the forces of entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens of the country on the site of the old one, destroyed in wartime (XX century – the second world war). Located near Kadriorg Park in the center of the capital.

Inside is a small prayer hall, decorated with carved ornaments on the walls. Immediately there is a glass Aron-Kodesh with a Torah scroll. Travelers representing the Jewish community can pray. For ordinary tourists guides work. The tour lasts 1.5 hours.

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