Attractions & museums
Photo: Kadi-Liis Koppel
Photo: Kadi-Liis Koppel

    St. Olav’s (Oleviste) Church and tower

    Make the vigorous climb to the top of Tallinn's iconic, Gothic church, once the tallest building in the world. 

    Once upon a time, from 1549 to 1625 to be precise, this Gothic church was the tallest building in the World. But it’s gigantic, 159-metre spire, meant as a signpost for approaching ships, also turned out to be a very effective lightning rod. Throughout the church's history lightning hit the spire repeatedly, completely burning down the structure three times.

    Nowadays its smaller, 124-metre spire still dwarfs most of Tallinn’s buildings and remains an important symbol of the town. From April to October, visitors can make the vigorous climb to the top of the stone portion of the tower for magnificent and dizzying views of Old Town, Toompea hill and the port area.

    The church itself dates back to at least 1267 when it is thought to have served a group of Scandinavian merchants who settled in the area. Various legends insist the church got its name from either the giant or the mysterious stranger who built it, however it was in fact dedicated to King Olaf II of Norway.

    Its current shape and size were set in the 16th century. Inside are high, vaulted naves and a historicist interior design that dates to the time it was rebuilt after a fire in 1830.

    Services on Sundays at 10am and 12pm.

    Entrance to the church is free.
    Entrance to the tower is free with Tallinn Card.

    St.Olav's Church Tower is closed to visitors until 31.12.2020.
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    TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

    TripAdvisor logo tripadvisor rating 4.5 of 5

    based on 1591 reviews

    • Not a lot to see inside

      tripadvisor rating 2 of 5
      August 29, 2020 By Cynicoren

      If you don't climb the tower to see views of the city, there's no point of entering, as the church is very plain from the inside.

    • Great building and nice sunday service

      tripadvisor rating 4 of 5
      August 10, 2020 By Simo K

      A Beautifull and quite massive building. The inside is nice. It goes with a wonderful history of the spiritual revival in soviet days. Ask your guide to tell you about it if you have one. The best... Read more comments

    • Unexpected View

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      May 23, 2020 By niksk001

      The Church is one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn (it was built back in the XII century, before the Danish invasion). It is seen from almost any place in the Old Cirty. We did not plan to go... Read more comments