Source Unattributed postcard
The first settlers to Tallinn, Estonia are believed to have arrived in the area nearly 5,000 years ago. The city used to be located further from the port. The area known as Old Town has been around since the early Thirteenth Century. A battle between the natives and the Danes was waged in 1219. The Estonians were winning the battle when a miraculous sign appeared in the sky and the tide was turned. The Danes conquered and Estonia has remained under foreign rule almost continually ever since.
Source By Ivo Kruusamägi
Between the Germans, Danes, Swedes and Russians, Estonia has had many "liberators" and have incorporated much of the culture from the diverse people who have taken up residence within their borders. So it was surprising to me that they have managed to hold on to their linguistic roots. The occupations finally came to a short-lived end following the Estonian War of Independence fought between 1918 and 1920. Freedom Square commemorates that war and the first brief period of independence for Estonia in centuries. (Unfortunately, they were soon conquered again. They were ruled by Germans before being secretly negotiated away to the Russians in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1940). They finally regained and have maintained their independence from August 1991 through the present.
Source By Ave Maria Mõistlik
The Freedom Plaza was, at one time, a parking lot. The parking has been relocated nearby and underground, providing a large concrete area where people can gather. During excavation, walls from the original city were uncovered that date back centuries. Glass panels were incorporated into the plaza that allow visitors to peer down into the remains of the ancient walls. Towering above the plaza is a large Iron Cross like memorial made of glass. The large structure is architecturally appealing, but has had functional issues since the memorial was completed in 2009. There are internal lights that should illuminate the structure that did not work when I visited.
The plaza maintains a peaceful quality in a city that has plenty of traffic and motion. The area is flanked by art museums, shopping, transportation and Old Tallin (it is located on the southern border of the Old Town). A set of stairs along the western side of the tower lead to two glass panels written in several language that pay tribute to the War of Independence. The stairs continue up to a grassy park behind the tower and continue on to Kiek in de Kok.
The Freedom Plaza is a pleasant place to relax and people-watch. There are benches, stairs and railings to find a seat and relax. From the plaza, it is a short walk to the many museums and attractions of Old Town. There are some fast food type restaurants near the plaza, with excellent dining within a block or two as you enter Old Town. Freedom Plaza represents the more modern history of Tallinn, in contrast to the medieval history that surrounds the plaza. It is a tribute to the tenacity and perseverance of the Estonian people who have incorporated other cultures while maintaining their own unique identity. This attraction is free.
Cross Photo Source By Ivo Kruusamägi