The first fortress in what is today Tallinn was built in 1050. It was important for trade between Russia and Scandinavia, coveted by Teutonic knights and the kingdom of Denmark, which took over the rule in 1219.
In 1285 the city became the northernmost member of the German-dominated Hanseatic League, the Danes sold Tallinn to the Teutonic Knights in 1346.
The German influence became stronger after the protestant reformation, in 1561 Tallinn came under the Swedish rule. It capitulated to Imperial Russia in 1710, but at that time, the relatively independent Duchy of Estonia was established.
On 24 February 1918 Estonian independence was proclaimed in Tallinn, it was followed by German occupation and war of independence with Russia. On 2 February 1920 the Soviet Russia acknowledged an independent Estonia and Tallinn became its capital.
In 1940, the country was occupied by the Soviet Union, during 1941 and 1944 the Nazis ruled. Then the Soviets came again, in 1944 Estonia became the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In August 1991, it proclaimed independence and Tallinn became once more a capital of an independent country, that was on August 20, 1991.
The reason I am quoting all these facts from Wikipedia is not to bore you to death but to show you why one simply has to love Tallinn.
The Estonian capital is so full of so many different sights telling us about its lively history, it is impossible to resist its charm. At least on a sunny day.
We didn’t travel there by car, so the first part of our visit was limited to the Old Town with its picturesque buildings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, btw) and lack of modern shopping facilities, which I loved. We took most of our photos there.
To get to know the city better, we bought tickets for the so-called “24 hrs Hop On Hop Off” bus and were rewarded by a bumpy ride through the outskirts and the modern part of the city. It was splendid!
Afterwards, we also visited the museum in the Old City, where we found out about its history and the history of the tunnels that exist all through the hill Toompea. The walk through the tunnels, which were built at almost all times in the history and about which no one knows how far they reach (the legend has it one could walk to Helsinki through them :-)), was a particularly unforgettable experience.