North Old Town Of Tallinn

In the North side of Old Town near to harbour area is wide tower, Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta), what has been built to defend city from the seaward and also impress visitors who came via harbour. Nowadays Fat Margaret is Estonian Maritime Museum. There’s on four floors such things as Neolithic fishing gear, antique diving equipment, and even the entire wheelhouse from a 1950s-era trawler.

The name Fat Margaret is mystery. Some sources tell that it has came from one of its larger cannons and other sources that it has came from the name of the cook, who worked there. Fat Margaret has earlier been a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons and a prison.

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St. Olav’s Church (Estonian: Oleviste kirik) in North of Old Town has been built in in the 12th century and to have been the centre for old Tallinn’s Scandinavian community before Denmark conquered Tallinn in 1219. It was once the tallest building in the world, during years 1549 to 1625, when it’s spire was 159 meters high. Spire was a signpost for approaching ships and it also turned out to be a very effective lightning rod. Lightning hit the tower several times and the whole structure of the church burned down three times.

Nowadays spire is 124 meters high and tourists can climb to the tower from April to October to admire view over Old Town. The name of St. Olav’s Church has come from King Olaf II of Norway (a.k.a. Saint Olav, 995–1030). St Olav was part of the united western tradition of Christianity, whose polity continues in the Roman Catholic Church today. Current shape and size of St. Olav’s Church were set in 16th century and it has been built again after fire last time in 1830.

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St. Olav’s Church is situated between Lai and Pikk streets higher on the hill and street same level as harbour (in the lowest photos) is Uus. Next to Fat Margaret cannon in the end of street Pikk in North is Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav), medieval gate between towers. It has been first time built in 1300s, but it was during reconstruction in the early 16th century when Fat Margaret was added. Another tower of the gate what controlled access to the town in medieval times can be seen in many photos here.

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