At the edge of the Tallinn Old Town, where the old buildings connect with the new ones, proudly stands the Freedom Square, a symbol of liberty. In the Soviet times, it was known as the Victory Square that used to host parades during the holidays like the Victory Day and the October Revolution. Now, it is a popular meeting spot and a place to relax. You can sit on a bench or in a cafe, enjoy the lively atmosphere, visit open-air concerts in the summertime, or have a look at the monuments, art galleries and the churches surrounding the square.
Right next to the Freedom Square is the cafe Wabadus (meaning freedom in Estonian). The long history of the cafe dates back to 1937 when it was a popular meeting spot for businessmen, lawyers, engineers, and doctors who all met here for the important conversations. Nowadays, it is a perfect cafe-restaurant for a quick lunch date or cocktails in the evening. The prices are reasonable, considering the location and food is delicious and fresh.
The Cross of Liberty, a memorial to the Estonian War of Independence in the years 1918-1920, might be the first thing you notice on the central square. People were excited to see the monument when it was originally built in 2009. But, unfortunately, the first cold winter made it crack, and it is being renovated ridiculously often since then. But, if you do manage to see the cross made out of glass in its full glory, especially during the night, it will surely be a memorable experience.
Admiring the churches of Tallinn, the St. John’s Church is a must-see. This neo-Gothic church is most-visited at the Christmas time when a lot of concerts take place there to make a perfect winter holiday atmosphere. If you can, go inside and admire the stained glass windows and the large altarpiece.
To learn about the history of the square, just look down at your feet. Under the glass panel, there are the remains of the defense tower that stood there in medieval times. Parking lots are usually not known as exciting sights, but not this one! The parking lot under the Freedom Square is a place where you can see more of the defensive structures found here during the archaeological excavations.
To see the square from above, step up to the Harju Gate Hill from Mayer’s staircase next to the cross, decorated with the ornamental vases. The beautiful green park on the hill is a perfect place to have a small picnic and see how the old square and the business district with tall glass buildings blend in together. This spot will make you admire how Tallinn has changed over time and how it continues to evolve.
Freedom Square in Tallinn is not just a symbol of liberty but also a popular spot to meet your friends to spend time in one of the cafes or enjoy the atmosphere. It's definitely worth a visit to get a real local feeling of the city!
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