Toompea Castle is situated on the steep limestone hill in the central part of Tallinn. The first wooden castle is believed to have been built on the hill in either the 10th or 11th century by residents of the ancient Estonian county of Rävala. It was probably one of the first inhabited areas of what later became Tallinn. In 1219, the castle was taken over by Danish crusaders - led by Valdemar II. According to a legend very popular among Danes, the very first flag of Denmark (Dannebrog) fell from the sky during a critical stage of the Battle of Lyndanisse, fought near the castle, resulting in Danish victory over Estonians. The current castle is mainly constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The castle is one of the most potent symbols of the reigning power, which over the centuries has been conquered by various nations. According to the Altmark peace treaty of 1629, Estonian territories went to the king of Sweden. In 1583–1589 a new ceremonial building, the State Hall building, was erected on Toompea. It was located against the western wall between Tall Hermann tower and the convent building.

In 1710 the ownership of Toompea went from the Swedes to the Russian Czarist Empire. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great ordered the construction of the Estonian Government Administration building in the east side of the fortress; it was completed in 1773.

On 24 February 1918, Estonia became an independent state. From 1920 until 1922, according to the plans of the architects Eugen Habermann and Herbert Johansen, the building of the Parliament (Riigikogu) was built in the castle courtyard. The expressionist design of the building makes it unique among the parliament buildings of the world. In 1935, the palatial south wing was built on the south side, copying the style of the Government Administration building, and the Governor's Garden was laid out in appropriate design.

The Toompea castle and the surrounding old town are is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Nineteen of the original sixty six defense towers are survived. The old town is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The castle is open to the public with no charge. There are also guided services available.


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Falgi tee 2, Tallinn, Estonia
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Founded: 13-14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)


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User Reviews

Brenda Castillo (40 days ago)
It is a beautiful place and the walls of the castle are amazing. We just saw from outside, and consider that during winter it is hard to walk in the stairs
Reyner Octo (2 months ago)
I dont think you can go inside the castle, its written the parliament of estonia on the building now. Although no guard or anything, there isnt any access inside the castle. But there is an opening to the garden next to the castle, its small but neat and beautiful.. you also can view some scenary from the garden cos its located higher than the surroundings.
Jadiel Mendes (4 months ago)
This is a medieval castle on Toompea hill in the central part of the city. Nowadays it houses the Parliament of Estonia. The castle has been revamped countless times through the centuries, but still retains the basic shape it was given in the 13th and 14th centuries. From its front, you’ll be able to see a pink, Baroque palace dating to the time of Catherine the Great. And a look at its opposite side, visible from the base of the hill, will give you a much more medieval perspective. Toompea Castle is open to the public and guided tours are free of charge and can be taken in Estonian, Russian or English.
Nikos Gkekas (5 months ago)
Toompea Castle’s placid pink facade belies its history. The castle complex is now home to Riigikogu (Estonia’s Parliament), but for some 700 years, it belonged to various occupying foreign powers. The castle stands on the former site of a 9th-century wooden fortress that was conquered by the Danes in 1219, who built the stone fortifications around the hill, much of which remain. The structure has been modified by everyone who has conquered it since then and the Parliament building which was built in 1920-1922 is the sole expressionist parliament building in the world. The northern and western walls of the castle, include three defensive towers, the most laudable of which is the 50-meter tall Pikk Hermann, dating from 1371. These crumbling towers were often depicted in old Soviet films, especially fairy tales.
david howells (5 months ago)
Only saw it from the outside but like everything else in Tallin it’s ruddy beautiful!
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