Viru Gate

Viru Gates in Old Tallinn.The ancient landmark is one of the symbols of the city and Estonia.
The gate was erected at the end of the XIII century, at the beginning of the XIV century it was rebuilt. There was a moat with water and a drawbridge in front of the gate. The passage to the city through the gates was protected by a lifting lattice made of iron-bound oak timber. In 1345-1355, a gate tower was erected, two more outer towers covering the moat were erected in 1454. There was a water mill at the gate.
In the Middle Ages, there were 6 gates in the outer chain of Tallinn fortifications, but to date, only two of them have survived – the Great Sea and Viru  gates.
Viru Gate served as the main entrance to the city from the east. The view of the Viru fortifications built in the 14th century is very different from what they looked like in their time. In the Middle Ages, the Viru Gate was a complex of powerful, square-based towers built into the line of the fortress walls.
Since the 17th century, the fortifications of Tallinn have ceased to be an effective defense of the city. In 1843 the gate and mill were demolished. With the laying of a horse tram in the center of Tallinn in 1888, the main gate tower was dismantled, which interfered with the passage of traffic, and only the gate towers remained from the entire complex.
Today Viru Gate is rightfully called the “door” to Tallinn’s medieval past,This is a popular tourist route with many interesting old buildings, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Access : Coordinates: 59.436641, 24.749332 / Address: Estonia, Tallinn, st. Viru / Sight Location: Tallinn, Estonia.

Highlights :

  • In front of the wall with built-in gate towers, Viru ran a deep moat, through which a drawbridge was thrown.
  • The wide arched entrance was closed by a gersa – a lifting grate made of massive logs and iron rods. If the enemy broke through the bridge to the small gate, then the hersu was sharply lowered, and the enemy was trapped in a “stone bag”.
  • The aforementioned towers at the point of convergence of Pikk Yalg and Lühike Yalg survived due to the fact that they served as internal fortifications at the junction of the two parts of Old Tallinn.
  • On the street there was a residential building of Jacob De la Gardie, a famous military leader of the times of Swedish rule in Tallinn.
  • Viru Street is one of the city’s major shopping streets and is home to boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants and night clubs.

Activities : snapping selfies / Photography, Architecture Photography / walk in town with its old districts / Good place to glance history!! / Walking Tours in Tallinn, Estonia.

Go next : Outside the Virus Gate starts Vana Viru Street, which leads straight to the Town Hall Square / The old Patkuli staircase – Patkuli observation platform.


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