TALLINN - Tourists visiting Tallinn from June 3 to June 6 will be treated to an extra portion of medieval style events in a city that's hardly shy in showing off its medieval roots, thanks to the 23rd Old Town Days festival. There will be dozens of events, concerts, workshops and free guided tours for history lovers to enjoy.
Perhaps the Tallinn City Council should seriously think about cashing in on Tallinn's obsession with all things medieval. In the hard winter months it could then sell its medieval wares canned, chopped, sliced, dried or pickled and help boost ye city's coffers.
King Arthur's Gala at Katarina Church (12/14 Vene St.) will be the main event on the first day. Don't miss this charity concert that will be given by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian and Latvian opera soloists. The money (tickets cost 16 euros) will go to keeping the immaculately pickled Old Town in decent shape.
The official opening is at 3 p.m. at the Town Hall Square on June 4. Be there to catch the regular speech of Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar and other officials and watch them sweating in their medieval costumes rented from a nearby theater.
Another concert worth seeing should be that of the Police Orchestra playing Frank Sinatra tunes at 9 p.m. at the Town Hall Square on June 4. They'll doubtless be boasting about how they kept law and order on the mean streets of Tallinn "their way."
One very simple way to stay abreast of the packed program is to hang out in one of the beer gardens on the square - the key events will nearly all be held there anyway.
But don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself confronted by the spectacle of Uzbek, Moldovan or Czech music - the festival usually hosts a number of guest performances. It's a useful reminder amid all the medieval theatrics that modern-day Tallinn is actually a pretty multicultural sort of place.
This year the Town Hall of Tallinn will celebrate its 600th anniversary, which is a good reason to explore it as an example of one of the best-preserved town halls in Europe. It will also be the venue for several concerts throughout the festival. o
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