Interpret Europe Conference | 8-11 May 2020 in Haapsalu, Estonia | #iecon20
Study visits 9 May
Option 1: When the Danes came (Tallinn Old Town)
This is a walk through the Tallinn of the Danish period (13th-14th century). The tour starts at Kiek in de Kök with an exhibition about the Battle of Lyndanisse called Dannebrog and Estonia 1219–2019. It continues to the Danish King’s Garden where, according to legend, the red and white Dannebrog (the Danish flag) fell from the sky. While walking through the Old Town, we will talk about how the appearance of the city started to develop during the 13th century – churches and cloisters, people’s homes and the initial defensive wall. We will visit the Great Guild Hall which is one of the most distinguished public buildings of medieval Tallinn. It played a significant role in European history and was selected for the European Heritage Label in 2013. The Gothic-style building, completed in 1410, was built on what was then the main street and near the Town Hall. The tour ends at the exhibition called From Stronghold to Town, at Tallinn City Museum in Vene 17, a historic house.
Tallinn City Museum was founded in 1937 as the Historic Museum of the City of Tallinn. The museum encompasses a number of different sites both in Tallinn’s medieval Old Town as well as in the districts of Kadriorg and Kalamaja.
In Tallinn City Museum, the staff introduce their work to local schoolchildren. They devised and implemented a program about the beginning of Tallinn for their peers and other events made with and for the communities.
The dinner will be in Olde Hansa which is an internationally renowned medieval-experience restaurant located in the heart of the Old Town of Tallinn.
Option 2: All about life (Estonian Open Air Museum)
Estonian Open Air museum is an old Estonian village only a few minutes drive away from the city centre of Tallinn. It invites you to visit the rural architecture museum that was founded in 1957. The museum covers a plot of 66ha near Tallinn, on the coast of Kopli Bay and in the area of Rocca al Mare summer manor which was established in the 19th century. The museum under construction was opened to visitors in August 1964. Today, the area of the museum is now more than 72 ha and there are 74 buildings on show.
Located on an open Estonian landscape, the farms of the museum are arranged according to old village types. Public buildings like the school, the chapel, the inn, the village shop and the fire station make up a small village centre. The landscape is made more attractive by the presence of several mills and net sheds by the sea.
The study visit includes a guided tour of the museum, a presentation about community and national minority work at Estonian Open Air Museum and about the educational work at Kuie School. Conversation with a representative of a national minority will take place and there is going to be a visit to the newest museum exhibit – a Soviet era building.
The evening ends with Estonian National dinner at Kolu Inn.
Option 3: Muhumaa a secret in the sea (Muhu Island)
Muhu Island is a magical place where sites of pre-Christian rites have been preseved. On the ancient culture trail you will get the opportunity to listen to the stories of fairies and of related traditions and histories of the sites. You will get to know how the stories and beliefs survived different régimes.
By remaining attached to the ancient perception of life, the people of Muhu (or Muhumaa) Island have preserved their identity and remained as a cohesive people. They say “Our ancestors had a personal relationship with nature that was independent of other humans; it meant finding oneself, building one’s spiritual space.“
The tour starts at the Üügu Bluff, a steep rocky coast where there is an ancient water fairy spring. On an ancient culture trail, you can learn about the ancient customs and traditions of Muhumaa. Dinner is in the Tihuse tea house where traditional Estonian cuisine is served.
Option 4: Of people and landscape (Matsalu National Park and Lihula town)
In Matsalu, people and nature live side by side, complementing and safeguarding each other. This is the reason why the most important areas in Matsalu are called seminatural – they have moderate human intervention and the open floodplains, coastal pastures and wooded meadows are a home to numerous plant, bird and animal species. With a total area of nearly 500 sq km, Matsalu National Park is included in the Ramsar List of wetlands of International Importance.
Matsalu Visitor Centre on the second floor of the Penijõe Manor house offers visitors a good chance to learn about the unique character of Matsalu National Park.
The town of Lihula holds the oldest evidence of human activity in Läänemaa. The 13th century castle was built in ancient Lihula and the stronghold ruins still stand on top of a steep hill. Next to it is Lihula Manor, the magnificent classical, two-storey stone manor house built in 1824. Today,the manor house is the home of Lihula Museum.
The tour in Matsalu National Park and the town of Lihula includes discussions about collaboration with local communities and ends with dinner in Sakste Maja, a café in a historic 1912 house in Lihula where you can enjoy local Estonian cuisine.