Photographer's Note

St. Catherine’s Passage is a landmark combining master craftsmen’s workshops with a medieval atmosphere.

St. Catherine’s Passage (Katariina käik) connects Vene and Müürivahe streets. You can see the remaining portions of St. Catherine’s Church in the northern part of the passage. Residential buildings from the 15th to the 17th centuries stand along the sides of the southern section of the Passage.

The Passage was rediscovered and given new life in the summer of 1995, but is still imbued with a medieval milieu.

The open studios of artisans are now located here, and visitors can watch artists and craftsmen practise their craft daily. While each studio is unique in appearance and function, they are all united in the principle of the open studio: here one can view works not only as finished products, as in an ordinary gallery, but also as the end product of various processes that the open studio presents to the visitor.


The unique value of Tallinn’s Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved completeness of its medieval milieu and structure, which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Its powerful defensive structures have protected Tallinn from being destroyed in wars, and its lack of wooden buildings has protected it from burning down. But it is also crucial that Tallinn hasn’t been massively rebuilt in the interest of dispensing with the old and modernising the town.

Tallinn is one of the best retained medieval European towns, with its web of winding cobblestone streets and properties, from the 11th to 15th centuries, preserved nearly in its entirety. All the most important state and church buildings from the Middle Ages have been preserved in their basic original form, as well as many citizens’ and merchants’ residences, along with barns and warehouses from the medieval period.

The golden era in Tallinn’s history lies in the period between the early 15th and mid 16th centuries. Tallinn had attained fame and a powerful role in the Baltic Sea area through its membership in the Hanseatic League. Economic might carried with it both the need to defend the city and the opportunity for a rich period of architectural and artistic creativity.
(Source:travelbaltics & Tourism.Tallinn)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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