Tallinn continues to celebrate the title of European Capital of Culture with many thrilling events taking place in the coming months. Here are highlight events of summer:
“Kaart & Kaart – Travelling through Time in Tallinn” exhibition, until the end of August
Location: Estonian National Library
This exhibition takes you on a voyage through centuries of the city's maritime history, looking at how the sea shaped design, planning and way of living. The earliest known city maps date from the 17th century, while the first map of Tallinn, published in Estonian, is from 1907.
Tallinn Bicycle Week, June 2 – 5
Location: different locations in Tallinn
The event consists of two major events: the Bicycle Film Festival, a global event launched in New York and the Simple Summer Session, the second annual summer BMX bike competition held on Freedom Square. In addition, the week includes art exhibitions and workshops, gatherings of cyclists, fun and competitive racing.
Nargen Festival, June 3 – September 11
Location: different locations in Tallinn and on Naissaar island
The Nargen Festival, created by Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, was designed so that its venues can be accessed by sea. It has become one of the biggest events in Estonian music culture.
International short film festival “Never Before Seen”, June 6 - 12
Location: Artis Cinema, Russian Culture Centre
For the 11th time the international short film festival will offer a unique opportunity to see European premières of films by young film-makers.
Venetian Carnival in Tallinn, June 11
Location: Löwenruh Park
Löwenruh Park will turn into a little piece of Venice for this fun and colourful carnival, featuring dance and song performances, Venetian music, competitions and a fashion show full of gorgeous costumes and masks worn by people and, strangely, dogs!
NO99 Straw Theatre: Euphorie, June 14
Location: Straw Theatre
NO99 Straw Theatre is the biggest event especially created for the Culture Capital year. Through summer plays from local performers and foreign visitors will take place at the Skoone bastion’s area. Some plays have English subtitles.
St. John's Day at the Estonian Open Air Museum, June 23
Location: Estonian Open Air Museum
One of the most important holidays for Estonians is the St. John's Day or Midsummer Day (Jaanipäev in Estonian). On this magical mid-summer's night the air is full of potent, omens and pagan rituals.
Tallinn mass: "Dance of Life", June 30
Location: St. John's Church
"Dance of Life" is a dialogue between the contemporary and medieval, based on Bernt Notke's "Dance of Death"; the characters, familiar from that motif, have been given modern counterparts and are now involved in a circle dance with life. The sound of tolling bells from mass will chime for two weeks before the performance.
From Military Equipment to Design Piece, June – October
Location: Mine Museum
Mine furniture by Mati Karmin unites past and present, destruction and creation.
11th Youth Song and Dance Celebration, July 1 – 3
Location: Song Festival Grounds
Ask any native what activity defines Estonia, and the first idea that will pop into their minds will be the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration. These massive folk gatherings, involving thousands of colourfully-dressed performers from Estonia and abroad, have helped shape the nation's spirit ever since the first Estonian Song Celebration in 1869. This year's celebration is called “The Wide World Begins in a Small Land”.
Medieval Days in Tallinn’s Old Town, July 7
Location: Old Town
The journey back in time to the Middle Ages to discover 500-year-old Reval begins on July 7 at Viru gates, and upon reaching Town Hall Square it will bring a Hanseatic artisans' market to life. Town hall musicians, travelling minstrels, dancers, troubadours and contortionists will tantalise the senses.
International XC bike racing: Port of Tallinn GP 2011, July 9
Location: Nõmme Sports Centre
This international all-terrain bike competition will be 2011's highest-calibre bike race, not only in Tallinn or Estonia, but anywhere in the Baltic and Nordic region
Tallinn Maritime Days, July 15 - 17
Location: Tallinn Port area
Concerts, market and other fun events on the seashore, sailing and many majestic sailing boats by Tallinn bay.
European Athletics Junior Championships Tallinn 2011, July 21 – 24
Location: Kadriorg stadium
The European Athletics Junior Championships will be held in Tallinn – the biggest athletics competition in the European Capital of Culture programme.
Coastal Folk Festival, July 29 – 31
Location: Viimsi Open Air Museum
Over three days, this festival will tell visitors a seaside tale – the story of a coastal village where everyday life has been linked to the sea for a couple of hundred years. Friday is ‘work day’ in the village
25th International Tallinn Organ Festival, July 28 – August 7
Location: Old Town churches
Tallinn's international organ festival is the oldest music festival in Estonia – 2011 will mark its 25th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a series of more than 50 concerts in Tallinn and elsewhere in the country.
Culture Capital's full event calendar available here.
Cultural highlights also on the front page of Tallinn Tourism website.