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 :).
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.