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Photo by: Merlen Aringo

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.0

based on 81 reviews

Location (map)

Pikk tn 26, Tallinn

Old Town

More

Distance from:

Airport

5km

Harbour

1.7km

Train station

0.70km

Bus station

3.50km

Open/ Available

Mon-Fri 9-15

Contact

info@mustpeademaja.ee

+372 669 9946

Information

More

Accessibility

Semi-accessible
  • doors width less than 70 cm
  • threshold or step hight more than 4 cm
  • gradient of ramp over 10%
2
Steps
  • number of steps above the symbol
16cm
Low step
  • one step outside the entrance door
  • height under 13 cm
  • height in cm above the symbol

More

The entrance is through a narrow door (60 cm). The hall on the first floor is accessible. Steep staircases lead to the Olevi hall. No accessible toilet in the building.

House of the Brotherhood of Black Heads

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This beautiful, Renaissance-style guild hall is truly a star among Old Town's architectural treasures.

Just one look at the hall from the outside, especially its intricately-decorated, red, green and gold door, is enough to explain why it's a regular feature on every Tallinn postcard stand. The interior is also a must-see.

This was the historic home of the Brotherhood of Black Heads, a medieval guild made up of young, single merchants and foreigners. The guild's patron saint was the Moorish St. Mauritius - a profile of his head is pictured on the Brotherhood's coat of arms. The Brotherhood itself, which arose sometime around 1399, was active only in Estonia and Latvia, and never took hold in the rest of Europe. It is interesting to note that among the brotherhood's duties in medieval times was putting Tallinn's Christmas tree on Town Hall Square each year. Records show that the activity started at least as far back as 1441, making Tallinn the first city in Europe to have the tradition of a public Christmas tree.

A 14th-century residential building probably occupied this site when the Black Heads bought up the property in the early 1500s. They immediately installed a new hall with an archless ceiling, but the serious rebuilding got underway in 1597 when the Dutch Renaissance façade, with its profusion of ornaments and carved decorations, was added. The eye-catching front door dates to 1640. Inside you can see a two-naved, vaulted hall, which bought from the neighbouring St. Olav's Guild and dates to the 15th century. 
The building is frequently used for concerts and other gala occasions, and naturally any event held here will take on a timeless quality.

Entrance only with Tallinn Card (free of charge).
Closed during concerts and other events.

Location (map)

Pikk tn 26, Tallinn

Old Town

More

Distance from:

Airport

5km

Harbour

1.7km

Train station

0.70km

Bus station

3.50km

Open/ Available

Mon-Fri 9-15

Contact

info@mustpeademaja.ee

+372 669 9946

Information

More

Accessibility

Semi-accessible
  • doors width less than 70 cm
  • threshold or step hight more than 4 cm
  • gradient of ramp over 10%
2
Steps
  • number of steps above the symbol
16cm
Low step
  • one step outside the entrance door
  • height under 13 cm
  • height in cm above the symbol

More

The entrance is through a narrow door (60 cm). The hall on the first floor is accessible. Steep staircases lead to the Olevi hall. No accessible toilet in the building.

TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

"Smaller and less ornate than its Riga counterpart"

4.0

October 14, 2018, by GeysirGal

This is somewhat smaller and less ornate to its better known Riga counterpart, but the building served the same function nevertheless as headquarters for the organisation which bears its name... Read more

"House of the Blackheads"

4.0

September 8, 2018, by George A

Nice place for taking pictures in front of the excellent decorative door and where concerts are performed. Read more

"Very Interesting and Curious"

4.0

July 21, 2018, by MK_in_VT

This central structure, completely destroyed by German, then Russian bombing in/after WW2, has been restored in detail and offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval culture, with a twist. The House... Read more

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