Attractions & museums

    Niguliste Museum and Church. Bernt Notke's 'Dance of Death'

    Exquisite altarpieces, medieval burial slabs and other works of religious art can be seen in this 1230-era church-turned-museum.

    Saints, dancing skeletons and silver – not to mention the occasional organ concert – are the main attractions here.

    Founded by German merchant/settlers from the island of Gotland, the sturdy church was designed to double as a fortress in the days before the town wall was built. The building survived the Reformation looting of 1523, but wasn't so lucky in the 20th century when it was destroyed by World War II bombs.

    Since its restoration in the 1980s, St. Nicholas' has functioned as a museum specialising in works of religious art, most famously Bernt Notke's beautiful but spooky painting Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). Intricate altarpieces, baroque chandeliers and centuries-old burial slabs are also on display, while the Silver Chamber is home to stunning works by members of town's craft guilds.

    The building's acoustics also make it a prime concert venue, with organ or choir performances held here most weekends.

    Entrance is free with Tallinn Card.

    TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

    TripAdvisor logo tripadvisor rating 4.5 of 5

    based on 428 reviews

    • Dance of Death painting makes this a world class museum!!!!!

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      August 21, 2020 By PBTravelstheWorld

      Petite museum that shows medieval art. The large "Dance of Death" painting along the back wall is the best of it's kind in the world and is beautifully presented. It is a reminder that we are all... Read more comments

    • Compact museum with some very interesting objects

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      July 30, 2020 By JouniE10

      Niguliste Church is not one of the art museums where you need hours or even days. But this quite compact museum has an exhibition with some of the most beautiful works of medieval art in all Europe... Read more comments

    • Wonderful Medieval Art in Huge Church

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      April 18, 2020 By EileenMtShasta

      Really wonderful old church which is huge inside, and has so many interesting and intricate works of medieval art, including the "Dance of Death". I was lucky to come when they happened to be having... Read more comments