Town Hall Tower
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Town Hall information
Rising over the Old Town’s main square, this is the only surviving Gothic town hall in northern Europe. Built between 1371 and 1404, it was the seat of power in the medieval Lower Town. Old Thomas (Vana Toomas), Tallinn’s symbol and guardian, has been keeping watch from his perch on the weathervane since 1530 (although his previous incarnation now resides in the City Museum). You can enjoy much the same views as Thomas by climbing the 115 steps to the top of the tower . According to legend, this elegant 64m minaret-like structure was modelled on a sketch made by an explorer following his visit to the Orient.
Entry to the hall itself is through the cellar. From here you can make your way up through the Trade Hall on the ground floor (housing a visitor book dripping in royal signatures) and then up to the main floor, where there’s the Council Chamber (featuring Estonia’s oldest woodcarvings, dating from 1374), the vaulted Citizens’ Hall , a yellow-and-black-tiled councillor’s office and a small kitchen. The steeply sloped attic has displays on the building and its restoration.
If the kids are getting restive, draw their attention to the iron shackles still hanging on the exterior wall facing the square.