Tallinn's Latin Quarter (Self Guided), Tallinn

Tallinn's Latin Quarter is an interesting district in the centre of the city. The Latin Quarter features the prominent Masters’ Courtyard, Gothic Dominican Monastery Museum, popular Tallinn City Museum, captivating Dominican Monastery Claustrum, and the marvelous St. Catherine’s Passage.
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Tallinn's Latin Quarter Map

Guide Name: Tallinn's Latin Quarter
Guide Location: Estonia » Tallinn (See other walking tours in Tallinn)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum)
  • Dominican Monastery Museum
  • St. Catherine’s Passage (Katariina Käik)
  • Masters’ Courtyard
  • Dominican Monastery Claustrum
Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum)

1) Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum) (must see)

The Tallinn City Museum is a parent organization for nine different museums across the city of Tallinn, Estonia. The main campus is located in the central portion of the Old Town. Besides the main campus, there are the following group of museums in the whole complex: Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages, the Photo Museum, Emperor Peter I House Museum, St. John’s Almshouse, A.H. Tammsaare Museum, the Eduard Vidle House, the Children’s Museum of Tallinn, and finally the Miia-Milla-Manda Children’s Museum

The main campus is housed in a building that dates all the way back to the 1300’s. It is a good representation of what dwellings were like in the Medieval days, which its lancet arched portal and double windows display so well. The building was owned by many famous merchants and politicians over the years. In 1963, the location was changed into the main campus for the Tallinn City Museum. Renovations were completed in 2000.

The permanent collections on display here are designed to give the viewer a good history of the old city, beginning with the conception of the town and ending with the Independence movement for the country of Estonia in 1991. In 2003 the Tallinn City Museum was nominated for European Museum of the Year Award.

There is a small café located in the museum, and a gift shop, where you can stop and have a bite to eat after visiting the main campus. (1 October – 30 April)Tue: 10.00–20.00; Wed–Sat: 10.00–17.00; Sun: 10.00–16.00;(1 May – 30 September) Mon–Sun: 10.00–18.00.
Dominican Monastery Museum

2) Dominican Monastery Museum

The Dominican Monastery Museum is one of the most famous religious institutions in Tallinn, because this old home to the famous order has played an important role in the history of the city. The Dominicans held a great bit of power and influence here until 1525, when a group of anti-Catholic rioters ransacked the old Monastery.

Later, the site was used as one of the first schools in town, as well as a hospital. The military also made use of the old building until the 1800s, when a new church was erected on the grounds of the old Monastery. Some of the remaining rooms now house the museum.

There is an extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance art and artifacts to be seen in the museum. You will especially want to check out the stone carvings, particularly those on some of the old tombstones. The relief of the angel, set in a triangle, is also quite stunning and was designed by Arendt Passer. He was a famous stone mason who did other work in the area, like the Pontus de la Gardie in the famous Tallinn Cathedral.

Just to the south of the monastery lies a narrow alley that is known as Catherine’s Passage. The wall here was from the original Monastery. There is a series of craft shops where you can watch artisans still at work, just as in the days gone by.

The museum is open to the public from mid-May to mid-Sept daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and at other times by prior arrangement. The price of admission is 90 EEK.
St. Catherine’s Passage (Katariina Käik)

3) St. Catherine’s Passage (Katariina Käik)

If you want to get a chance to really glimpse what life was like in the Old Town part of Tallinn, Estonia, you will want to visit St. Catherine’s Passage. It is located just a short distance from Town Hall.

The old passage connects Vene and Muurivahe Streets in town. On the northern end of the passage you will find the remnants of St. Catherine’s Church, which is one of the oldest churches in the city. In fact, the passage derives its name from the church. Many people like checking out the old tombstones that are an integral part of the sanctuary there. There are many famous people buried at St. Catherine’s

On a different note, the southern end of the passage will take you past some of the best artisan shops in Tallinn. You can watch the artists at work in their given craft, as well as check out some souvenir for sale. It’s one of the best places to get a memento of your visit to Tallinn. The whole passage is a nice morning’s hike for the exercise alone. If you want to stop for a moment, then you will want to get a cup of coffee at one of the quaint little cafes that are scattered down the passage. They aim to please.
Masters’ Courtyard

4) Masters’ Courtyard

The Masters’ Courtyard in Old Town is a courtyard devoted to the masters and craftsmen of Tallinn. Here you can buy original handicrafts and beautiful jewelery, as well as view art exhibitions. While at the Masters' Courtyard, make sure you sample the delightful and mouth-watering confections created in the Chocolaterie Café.

Hours: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm.
Dominican Monastery Claustrum

5) Dominican Monastery Claustrum (must see)

The Dominican Monastery Claustrum is located in the Old Town part of Tallinn, Estonia. It is not very far from the Viru Gates, which are the official entrance into this part of the city. The Monastery here was first formed in 1246, during a period of time when the city was a thriving and growing part of medieval Europe.

From a historical perspective, the building here is one of the most important in all of Tallinn. The clausure holds the most important of the rooms in the old building, and they were used for many purposes during the years. During the 14th and 15th Century, the meetings of the leadership of the Hariju and Virumaa Knighthoods took place here. The Old Capital Hall used to be here also. So, this building is important to the history of the city because of these types of meetings that took place in the clausure.

One of the first libraries in Tallinn was also located inside the Monastery. In addition to being able to see the old library, you can visit the old sacristy, vestry, and dormitories used by the monks and leaders of the city.

This location is often used for conferences for various organizations. The Old City Hall can hold up to 50 people for such a conference or meeting.

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