In Tallinn, just a short ride away from the huge glass buildings and the city center commotion, there is a magical place where you can get a glimpse into the 18th-century life - the Estonian Open Air Museum.
When you step into the museum, you will find yourself in the authentic 18th-century village. It is made as genuine as possible – there are 14 farms, a church, an inn, a schoolhouse, mills, a fire station, a shop, and fishing sheds. The museum is open all year round, and it's interesting during all seasons. During the Christmas time, you can eat a proper Estonian Christmas food at the inn, and participate in different workshops to learn the local holiday traditions. In the summer, it is a perfect time to have a picnic under the mill by the sea, have a ride with a horse carriage and have fun on the village swing.
Kolu Inn is an active restaurant and hotel and an integral part of the museum's exhibition. The inn was brought from the Kolu Village and was built in the 1840s. It was brought to the museum in the year 1968, and since that time, it has been a perfect place to rest your feet and have a bite to eat. In the menu, you can find the traditional Estonian food. During summertime, try a salad with salty herring, or acold soup with kefir; while in the winter you can have something more comforting, like roast pork with sauerkraut. To taste some local sweets, you can try the kama drink. The Kama is only found in Estonia and is worth a try – it is kefir with sugar and roasted mixed grains. It may not sound very delicious, but it is a very tasty and healthy sweet snack.
Now that your tummy is full, it is time to take a look at the rest of the village. The 17th-century-chapel from Rannarootsi is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Estonia. It is said that it is built in the year 1627. On regular days, it is just a quiet place where you can relax and reconnect with your inner being. On the contrary, during the major holidays and important national holidays, there are sermons and services held, so you can see how it used to be, back in the time, when religious places used to be the essential parts of social life.
Kuie schoolhouse is another crucially important house in the museum. Originally, the house was built in 1887, and it was rebuilt in the museum in 1999. There, you can walk around the classrooms and imagine how the educational system used to be in the 18th century. I won't spoil it, but you should be ready for something entirely different than what we have nowadays.
It is easy to get carried away and spend many hours walking around the peculiar houses of Estonian Open Air Museum. It is a museum like no other, offering a glimpse into the 18th-century life in Estonia.
Cover picture © Credit to: iStock/jirivondrous
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