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East Meets West in Tallinn

East Meets West in Tallinn

BY GNAGB . 13 Jun, 2022

The fascinating Nordic port city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia,is just 2-hour ferry trip across the Baltic Sea from Helsinki. Russia and Latvia both border Estonia and the county is a bridge between East and West. Tallinn achieved its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2011 the city was named European Capital of Culture.

During its medieval past, Tallinn was a busy Hanseatic trading centre where merchants and nobles from all over Europe came to do business. By virtue of its geographical position, Tallinn is still very much a trading city. Medieval merchant’s houses (some now 5-star hotels) are located within the old walls of Tallinn’s fabled, and perfectly preserved Old Town, now on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

On the outskirts of the city centre lies the affluent suburb of Pirita, a quiet coastal region with a sandy beach, a surf club, a yacht harbour/marina, and the city’s Botanical Gardens. Close by are the ruins of the Convent of St Bridget, a medieval religious hub destroyed by the army of Ivan the Terrible in 1577, and now used as a concert, event, and tourist venue. A Catholic Mass is celebrated within the ruins on various occasions. The Pirita Convent was active for over 150 years and was once the largest nunnery in Medieval Livonia, a nation formed within Estonia and Latvia in the 13th century. All were once part of the Russian Empire until Estonia and Latvia declared independence.

Adjacent to the ruins, and in marked contrast, stands an ultra modern religious building, the St Bridget’s Convent and guesthouse (Pirita Klooster),a welcoming place of hospitality for visitors to Tallinn. The convent was established for the Swedish Bridgettine religious order in 2001 and is a 5-minute walk from the beach and yacht harbour. The sisters cater for tourists and visitors to the city, and the guest house has been modernised in recent times. A bus stop is nearby, and the historical and cultural centre of Tallinn can be reached in 15 minutes. Each guest room is equipped with an ensuite bathroom and breakfast is served. Details here:  http://www.piritaklooster.ee/?lang=en

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