Pikk tänav, running northeast from Pikk jalg gate and linking Toompea with the port area, has some of the city’s most elaborate examples of merchantshouses from the Hanseatic period, including the Great Guild at Pikk 17, headquarters of the German merchants who controlled the city’s wealth; the House of the Blackheads, Pikk 26, with a lavishly decorated Renaissance facade; and the Three Sisters, a gabled group at Pikk 71. Supremely functional with loading hatches and winch-arms set into their facades, these would have served as combined dwelling places, warehouses and offices. Take the parallel street of Vene to the outstanding Tallinn City Museum at no. 17 (Mon & Wed–Sun: March–Oct 10.30am–6pm; Nov–Feb 10.30am–5.30pm; €4), which imaginatively recounts the history of Tallinn from the thirteenth century through to Soviet and Nazi occupations and Estonian independence.

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