There is one special place in the capital of Estonia. It was conceived and built by the Germans, the Swedes used to live there and the Russians destroyed it. Moreover, they destroyed it so effectually that now it is considered an important landmark of independent Estonia. It is not clear whose merit this is!
I am talking about the ruins of St. Bridget's Convent, which is also called by local people as Pirita Convent or Pirita klooster. I recommend these amazing ruins to all lovers of romance, fans of silence and serenity seekers. We shouldn't search any sources of the interethnic hostility here. We have to thank for the ruins all the former conquerors of Estonia that have managed to build, render it habitable, partially destroy, and then preserve the remains to the present day.
Convent ruins are situated off the center of Tallinn. Today this place is a prestigious area of luxury mansions and villas called Pirita. You can easily get here by car or simple bus, as well as by bicycle.
These ruins are photogenic at any time of the year, and the tickets are very cheap. If you are lucky to have the VisitTallinn card, the travel and visit will be free. This place reminds me of Scotland, France and Ireland. These countries have already understood that not everything destroyed needs the restoration or, vice versa, the final destruction.
Some ruins can stand for centuries without any special care. Like an old cognac, they obtain new colors and shades for every taste with age.
I do not know whether this convent would be so popular if it would have survived in its original form. The Tallinn German merchants decided to build it 600 years ago. To carry out their plans, they called here two monks from the Order of St. Bridget gaining popularity at that time.
This legendary person was born and lived in Sweden. Until she was visited by inspiration and put on the track of God. Before that, she had been married and given birth to a bunch of kids. Then her fate brought her to Rome, where she got respect and honor.
The Order named after her was founded after her death. Its center was located in Sweden. It began to spread throughout Europe very quickly. Its ideas were pretty similar to those of the Order of Saint Benedict, but with one special distinction. The Order was the mixed one. 60 enclosed nuns lived in each new monastery. 25 clerics (men) and their assistants helped them. In total, the number 85 was equal to the number of the first Followers of Christ (72 pupils + 12 apostles + Paul the Apostle). By the way, the main monastery of the Order in Sweden in the town of Vadstena has been preserved to this day. There is a hotel now.
The Order has been also preserved after years of deprivations and prohibitions. However, over time, it has become a purely female one and its residence is now located in Rome. Let's return to Tallinn.
Half a century later after the construction, the convent was destroyed during the Livonian War by the soldiers of Ivan the Terrible. Since then, the amazing ruins have stood in Pirita almost without any changes for more than four centuries. This is really amazing, even like a miracle.
200 years ago, local residents arranged a small reformed cemetery nearby. It also became a historic monument in course of time.
In Soviet times, this place was noticed by filmmakers. They filmed here many historic and adventure movies.
Today, the convent's ruins continue to serve educational ideas. Various open-air concerts, historical festivals and fairs are organized here from time to time.
There is a new building for Ordo Sanctae Brigittae opposite the ruins of the convent. Eight nuns from Latin America under the guidance of Mother Ricarda live now in this original construction of the Scandinavian type.
The place is amazing.
It's nice to walk alone around the ruins, to climb into hidden places, to discover ancient mysteries and legends.
Or you can just come here to sit in silence and think about eternity.
Until still rare selfie lovers will start to interfere such pastime...
Anyway St. Bridget's Convent Ruins is a wonderful place that is worth a visit in Tallinn. At least, as an alternative to its bustling center and the Old Town always full of tourists. If you don't trust me, see for yourself....