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Old Tallinn is a medieval northern European city located in Estonia, next to the Gulf of Finland. During the 13th-16h centuries, it acted as a trading city to import and export to and from Russia and Scandinavia. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is said to be one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.
See the fact file below for more information on the Old Tallinn or alternatively, you can download our 20-page World Heritage Sites: Old Tallinn worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
History of Old Tallinn
- The name “Tallinn” was not the city’s original name; in 1154 it was called Qlwn by a cartographer named Muhammad al-Idrisi.
- The location was described by al-Idrisi as being a small town like a large castle.
- The origin and meaning of the name Tallinn has seen many changes and turnovers, and is contested by scholars and historians.
- Human settlement in Tallinn’s city centre can be dated back to about 5,000 years ago, as types of pottery were found that date back to 5000 BCE.
- The Kingdom of Denmark looked to Tallinn as an opportunity to expand during the Northern Crusades of the 13th century (when Christianity was forced upon people).
- Northern Estonia became ruled by the Danish in 1219 after the Battle of Lyndanisse (depicted to the right).
- The name of the city changed to “Reval” in 1285, and was well-fortified as it stood at the intersection of trade between Western and Northern Europe and Russia.
- In 1530, a weather vane was put on top of the spire of the Tallinn Town Hall, and became the symbol for the city.
- During the 16th century, Tallinn moved towards Lutheranism as a result of the Reformation movement.
- Beyond 1889, the Industrial Revolution, coupled with Russification measures, as well as the outbreak of World War I, moved Tallinn towards independence; a manifesto was proclaimed in 1918.
- Tallinn became the capital of the newly-developed independent democratic Estonian state on August 20, 1991.
Geography and Geology of Old Tallinn
- The growth and decay of continental ice sheets, also referred to as the Quaternary Period, is what resulted in layers of ancient rock that lay beneath the Old Town of Tallinn.
- You may also find sand, gravel, pebbles, limestone, and other ancient sediments laying there as a result of glacial movement.
- Tallinn experiences warm, mild summers, and cold, snowy winters.
- Winters are typically cloudy with lots of snowfall and limited amounts of sunshine – sometimes only half an hour in December!
Facts about Old Tallinn
- There is an upper and lower part of the Old Town of Tallinn.
- The Medieval fortress built on Toompea Hill (pictured above) was likely the first structure in Tallinn.
- Typical people who once inhabited Tallinn’s Old Town were wealthy German and Danish merchants.
More Facts about Old Tallinn
- Old Tallinn has completely preserved its medieval charm and structure with large merchant houses, cobblestone streets, medieval churches, and structures dating back to the Middle Ages.
- Under Old Tallinn lies 17th century tunnels that were used during World War II.
- Vana Tallinn is a signature drink in the Old Town – it is a sweet liqueur.
- The oldest building in Tallinn is Dominican St. Catherine’s Monastery – it was built in 1246; it is a museum in the summertime.
- Chimney sweeps in Tallinn still wear their old-fashioned uniforms from the 19th century.
- During the Soviet era, Tallinn was one of the only places in the USSR where you could get Western TV programming.
- The 1980 Moscow Olympic sailing events were held in Tallinn.
- The Lake Ulemiste is the largest lake that surrounds Tallinn; there is a mythological tale about Ulemiste Elder who supposedly waits for the city to flood.
- Once every five years, Estonians go to Tallinn to celebrate their country during the Estonian Song and Dance Festival; this festival is so unique and grand, that it has made the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage!
World Heritage Sites: Old Tallinn Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Old Tallinn across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use World Heritage Sites: Old Tallinn worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Old Tallinn which is a medieval northern European city located in Estonia, next to the Gulf of Finland. During the 13th-16h centuries, it acted as a trading city to import and export to and from Russia and Scandinavia. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is said to be one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Old Tallinn Facts.
- A Messy Family Tree.
- The Battle of Lyndanisse.
- Our Five Senses.
- Old Thomas.
- Old Tallinn Poem.
- Old Tallinn Wordsearch.
- Tourism Video Project.
- Research Paragraph.
- Letter from the Bastion Passages.
- Old Tallinn Crossword.
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Link will appear as Old Tallinn Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 12, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.