Hotel Nunne – a building in the middle of eight centuries of history
Hotel Nunne is located in the UNESCO-protected old town of Tallinn, which has a history of 800 years. According to Lübeck law, the power in the Hanseatic city founded by the Danish king was in the hands of German merchants. It was they who built the mighty medieval limestone city wall that runs through the hotel. The defensive wall of Tallinn with a length of more than two kilometres has largely survived to this day; its construction lasted 300 years. As firearms and cannons began to be used in the Middle Ages, the wall had to be constantly improved. Old Tallinn was very well protected and nobody managed to conquer it by attack. Walking around the hotel, you can see the city wall with traces of old embrasures and step through the passages made in the wall.
On both sides of the city wall, the surroundings of the Hotel Nunne have been built up with houses for a very long time. Today's buildings were built in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They have previously housed an agricultural association, hotels and educational institutions.
Directly opposite the hotel, on the side of Suur-Kloostri Street, rises the medieval Nun's Tower with the remains of the original smaller tower inside. Next to it is the Monastery Gate leading through the city wall. However, this gate was built in the end of the 19th century. A medieval wooden defensive passage above the gate was restored during the Soviet era. This section of the city wall can also be accessed via the Nun’s Tower.
On the site of the current Nunne Street leading from the hotel to Toompea Hill, there was once a magnificent medieval city gate, which was demolished in the late 1860s to improve the connection of the old town with the railway station that was built at that time. The Nun’s Gate consisted of the main doors and two protective gates. Today, an information board hangs on the city wall of Toompea at the edge of the street, telling the story of the lost city gate.
For centuries, the local nobility lived in the historic upper town of Toompea. There is also the Dome Cathedral, built eight centuries ago, and the ruler's castle, in which the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, holds sessions today. Not far from the hotel there is a staircase leading to Toompea.
Gustav Adolf Gymnasium, the oldest functioning Gymnasium in Estonia, is located next to the hotel on Suur-Kloostri Street. Its main building is the 13th-century Cistercian convent of St. Michael, which owned this entire corner of the city. The Swedish king Gustav II Adolf opened a gymnasium in the old monastery complex in 1631; in the later years, the building was expanded several times. The church next to the school is one of the most unique in Estonia – in the Middle Ages it was founded as a Catholic monastery church, in the Swedish era in the 17th century it became a Lutheran military church, and during the Russian rule that began in the 18th century, it was rebuilt as an Orthodox temple. Today, the Estonian Orthodox community operates in the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Its tower houses the oldest church bell in Tallinn, cast in the 16th century.
The buildings opposite the hotel in Väike-Kloostri street with a beautiful garden also belong to the Gustav Adolf Gymnasium. In the corner building of Nunne Street there is a free museum introducing the history of the educational institution.
From 16th until the 19th century, earthen fortifications were erected around the old town. One of the older embankments, Nunnavall, extended beyond the city wall through the territory of today's hotel. In the second half of the 19th century, after Tallinn was deleted from the list of fortress cities, the area of the embankments was transformed into a beautiful park zone. Of these, Toompark with its former ditch and Towers Square, the former city exhibition ground, are in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. The Baltic Station was built in 1870 when Tallinn opened a railway connection with St. Petersburg, then the capital of the Russian Empire.
Staying at the Nunne Hotel you can experience and see the long history of Tallinn, walk along the streets of one of the best preserved medieval Hanseatic cities. Nunne Hotel with stories of old Tallinn is waiting for you!...