The Dominican monastery was founded in 1246 and it is the oldest one in the medieval old town. The center of monastery was St. Catherine's Church, which was completed in the late 1300s and was the largest church building in the lower town. The Monastery was expanded several times, most recently in the 16th century.
St. Catherine's convent closed down in 1525, when the monks were expelled from Tallinn during the Reformation. The looted and empty monastery church was destroyed by fire in 1531 - only ruins were left.
There were originally three inner chambers (together so-called claustrum) in the monastery allowed only for residents. The claustrum housed the most important rooms in the monastery: the prior’s room, the old library, the chapter hall, the dormitory, the sacristy, the cloister and the vestry. In the 14th and 15th centuries the leaders of the knight guilds of Harju and Virumaa often used the claustrum as their meeting and gathering place.
Only the eastern chamber has been preserved to our days. The dormitory, library, dining room and other rooms provide a fascinating opportunity to take a peek into the life of medieval monks. A mysterious "energy column" is located in the basement. According the legend it can be a source of physical and mental well-being.
Thanks for the comment, the photo is changed now!
The middle photo does not depict the Dominican Monastery. It shows the Tallinn townwall with two defencetowers, Maidentower (Neitritorn) and Kiek in de Kök. The photo was taken from the Danish King`s Garden. The monastery is about 7 minutes walk from there :).
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.