St Catherine’s Passage, Tallinn, Estonia
The walled and gated medieval city of Tallinn, capital of Estonia, seems to be brimming with towering stone walls, medieval turrets, ancient houses, soaring church spires, and other the wonders within. One such secret gem is St Catherine’s Passage (or Alley or Walk), a narrow, buttressed alley blanketed with smooth cobblestones, tucked away in the city centre. Connecting Vene Street to Müürivahe Street, a place home to an ancient Dominican monastery (which today only remains in fragments of its original sprawling complex), this narrow passage then winds past the titular St Catherine’s Church. This 14th century church is reputed to be the largest medieval church in the Baltics, and is known for its remarkable acoustics. St Catherine’s Passage is also home to a number of grand Renaissance and 18th century homes, as well as artesianael workshops and beautiful medieval and gothic architectural works and quirks. Though at the end of the day St Catherine’s Passage is just an alleyway, it is surely one of the most beautiful alleys in all of Europe, and certainly worth a wander.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to do some photography of the old town centre, a morning visit might be best. Also, Estonia has some of the best food of all the Baltics – you’ll eat and drink well here! The Kompressor, home to massive pancakes, is just 5 minutes away. But the city if fulls of wonderful places to eat and drink.
More of Medieval Europe:
- Tallinn’s Medieval Walls & Towers
- Eilean Donan, a Scottish island fortress
- Chateau de Ravel, France
- Ballindoon Abbey, Ireland
- Bradford-on-Avon, England
- Strasbourg, France
*Please note that all photos posted since the start of the Pandemic travel restrictions are from the archives, or taken locally within a short distance of our home.