Tallin, Estonia

Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Tallin has the most amazing 14th century architecture and it has been beautifully restored. There are basically two Old Towns in the area. The upper town (Toopea) started out as a fort created by Danes in 1219. With the arrival of German merchants in 1230, a lower town was created for the lower class... You can sort of see the division if looking down on the area from one of the church towers. (Notice the buildings on the hill surrounded by an old wall.)

There are several interesting things in Tallin to see. One is a pharmacy that was established in 1422 that is still in operation!

We took a quick tour of it and on display in a little museum inside the pharmacy are old vials, scales and even ingredients used to make medicine in the 15th century. 

The picture below is of a jar containing "earth worms in soil" and another containing "sun bleached dog feces." Thankfully many of the ingredients used back in the day were just herbs and different plants.  

Another interesting tidbit that we picked up at the pharmacy was the use of marzipan as medicine! The legend goes that "Mart" worked at the pharmacy and made the confection out of powdered almonds and powdered sugar. He gave it to someone who said it settled his stomach. Soon after, the medicine became popular and people said it gave them energy and made them happy (makes sense because of all of the sugar). Because the people of Estonia believe marzipan originated here, there is an amazing marzipan shop where the treat is still made and hand-decorated. James and I tried a piece - very rich and of course delicious!

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