Great Guild Hall

Tallinn, Estonia

Since the 14th century craftmen’s guilds were significant brotherhoods who drove interests of their members. The big guild of Tallinn was an union of wealthy merchants. Their base was the Great Guild Hall in downtown, opposite the church of Holy Spirit. The building itself was built in 1407-1410 and is a well-preserved sample of Medieval construction.

Today the Great Guild Hall houses a museum presenting Estonia's history from prehistoric times right up to the end of the 20th century. Films and interactive displays show how people here lived, fought and survived over the last 11,000 years.

References: Tallinn Tourism

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Address

Pikk 17-19, Tallinn, Estonia
See all sites in Tallinn

Details

Founded: 1407-1410
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sam Tambago (5 months ago)
The Great Guild Hall, nice place to know Estonia's history.
Andrei Darin (6 months ago)
Nice little museum. Has a large coin collection.
Marko Uibo (7 months ago)
Really modern museum and it's a perfect size. You get nice and interesting overview in sensible time, so it's a good idea to step in while having a walk in the Old Town.
Prince FR (14 months ago)
A nice museum in the old centre of Tallinn. The museum present a good overview of the estonian history since the last ice age and is well worth a visit even if you're in a bit of a hurry.
Michael Buckland (15 months ago)
An intriguing and captivating stroll through the history of Estonia! We spent about an hour here which was enough time to check everything out. Well out together and a great insight into the history of the Estonian people from 9000 BC through to today.
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Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.