St. Catherine's Monastery

Tallinn, Estonia

St. Catherine's Monastery or the Dominican Monastery is a former monastery and one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is located in the heart of Tallinn's Old Town district full of warehouses and merchants' houses. Its remains constitute one of two remaining medieval monastery complexes in Tallinn.

A Dominican monastery is known to have existed at the site since at least 1246. The site, between present-day Vene and Müürivahe streets, was chosen carefully so as to facilitate both the friar's ability to preach to a large audience, and to suit their business interests, as they are known to have traded in fish. The monastery also had a brewery, producing four types of beer. Throughout the Middle Ages, the monastery was renowned for its scholarship.

In 1524, during the Reformation, the monastery was destroyed. Only fragments remain of the original complex. Parts have been incorporated into the Roman Catholic St. Peter and St. Paul's Cathedral, and other parts, including a finely carved portal, are visible via St. Catherine's Passage (Katariina käik), connecting Vene and Müürivahe streets.



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Vene 14a, Tallinn, Estonia
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Founded: c. 1246
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Liz L (2 months ago)
Access via Müürivahe Tänav. Very disappointed. 5 euros to get in was robbery. A few rooms many displaying art which I considered innaproprraite for the former building use (near naked women , women floating in bags??!!). No map on laminated guide. Would recommend going instead to the cathedral on Vene 18, and paying 2 euros to access the cloister and courtyard. Much more atmospheric.
Arianna Delsante (2 months ago)
Nice but felt like not really worth 5 euros per person.
Anshu Varanasi (2 years ago)
Wonderful place, can get free entry with Tallinn card.
Itxasne Illustration (3 years ago)
Probably the most special place in Tallin. It's got something magical, charming.
Andrew Muttiah (3 years ago)
Very beautiful place with ancient style and architecture. €3 to enter. Very beautiful inside. About a 10 minute tour to see everything inside. The chambers are very nice. Loved it here. The lady at the front desk explains the history when you pay for the tour and she is very detailed about everything and answers any questions.
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The church is probably the third church on the site, the first stave church was built in the 11th century, the second in the 12th. The second church was fortified with stone walls and ramparts, remnants of which can be seen around the church.The church used to have a little turret, which was demolished. Now the bells are rung from a little tower in the graveyeard.