Attractions & museums

    Tallinn St. Mary's Cathedral (Dome Church) and bell tower

    NB! The tower is under renovation and will open in autumn 2022. The church will be open as usual during the renovation of the tower.

    The medieval church that stands at the centre of Toompea hill is one of the country's most fascinating historic attractions.

    Established sometime before 1233 and repeatedly rebuilt since, the church displays a mix of architectural styles. Its vaulted main body dates to the 14th century, while its Baroque tower was an addition from the late 1770s.

    Historically this was the church of Estonia's elite German nobles, a fact that becomes clear once you step through the doors. The interior is filled with elaborate funereal coats of arms from the 17th to the 20th centuries as well as burial stones from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Among the notables buried here are Pontus de la Gardie, who commanded Swedish forces during the Great Northern War, Adam Johann von Krusenstern, the Baltic-German admiral who led Russia's first expedition around the world, and Scottish-born Admiral Samuel Greig of Fife, rumoured to be Catherine the Great's lover.

    Christian Ackermann, one of the most skilful and renowned woodcarvers in 17th - 18th century, made the pulpit (1686) and the altar (1694-1696).

    Just inside the main entrance you'll find a large stone slab which reads, "Otto Johann Thuve, landlord of Edise, Vääna and Koonu Ehis grave, 1696 A.D." Thuve, now sometimes referred to as "Tallinn's Don Juan", was an incurable drinker and womaniser. As he lay dying, he asked to be buried here at the threshold of the church so that God-fearing people, as they kneel to pray upon entering, might eventually cleanse his soul.

    In addition to seeing the church's amazing interior, visitors can opt to climb the 69-metre, Baroque bell- tower for amazing views of the city.

    Mass every Sunday at 11am, midweek prayer with organ on Wednesdays at 5pm (free entrance), organ recital on Saturdays at 12pm (donation required).

    Entrance to both the church and the tower is restricted at the time of worship services and concerts.

    Entrance to the church is free with Tallinn Card.


    TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

    TripAdvisor logo tripadvisor rating 4.0 of 5

    based on 921 reviews

    • Didn’t go in

      tripadvisor rating 1 of 5
      August 28, 2020 By Paul R

      They wanted 2 euros entry fee and I I object to paying to visit a Church - Jesus said freely you have received and so freely give. Ask for donations instead.

    • Beautiful Coats of Arms & Fantastic View from Roof

      tripadvisor rating 4 of 5
      April 23, 2020 By EileenMtShasta

      A wonderful church, established before 1233 and repeatedly rebuilt. There are more than 100 Coat of Arms, made in memorial to dead people, which are wonderfully colorful and intricately designed. It... Read more comments

    • Couldn't get in

      tripadvisor rating 2 of 5
      January 21, 2020 By Jondo007

      Sadly it was closed, hence the 'poor' rating. Outside was OK, nice piazza and easy to take in on a self-guided tour as on the way from/to other things.