Up until Tudor times, Tallinn was an important port. It was full of wealthy merchants, and its grand Town Hall reflected this prosperity. In later centuries, the city declined and was neglected for hundreds of years as Estonia lived under various foreign occupations. The Town Hall shared in these ups and downs, and underwent many changes over the centuries. Already large by medieval standards, the original hall was extended in the fifteenth century, the tower was added, and a new spire was created in 1627. The, there was more rebuilding in the nineteenth century. By the 20th century, though, the Town Hall was draped with pictures of Lenin and, like the rest of Tallinn, was rather the worse for wear under Communist rule.
An expensive and sensitive restoration took place after Estonia became free again. Now the Town Hall is used for all kinds of public events, and guided tours of its interior are popular with visitors.
『The medieval center of Tallinn, Estonia』