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lysdor Haapsalu - A travel report by Tiina
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Haapsalu,  Estonia - flag Estonia -  Laanemaa
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lysdor's travel reports


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Haapsalu travelogue picture
A day trip to Haapsalu town is enough to see its castle from 15th century and surroundings. The castle has been the battle scene of wars and was conquered by Swedes and Russians. In 1715 the castle was blown up by Tsar Peter I in order to prevent its use as a stronghold.

Favourite spots:
Haapsalu travelogue picture
White Lady! It is said that on a moonlight night in August one can see a lady´s figure in one of these windows of the Dome church. The story tells that the lady who was the dean´s lover, challenged the destiny and stepped over the castle´s threshold. The punishment was very severe - she was buried alive in the walls of the castle! And thus she appears there once in a year. Unfortunately it was July and a daytime when we visited Haapsalu, so I can't really tell if this is true...

What's really great:
Haapsalu travelogue picture
On the way South just before Lihula there is the little village of Kirbla. The church there is the smallest church in Estonia. The village is also known for the terrifying mass murder during World War II.

Haapsalu travelogue picture
At Lihula village You can find the ruins of the episcopal castle just behind the manor house.
The castle was build in 1248 but unfortunately of lime stones, that didn´t last the centuries to come.
During the medieval time Lihula was a very powerful village with two monasteries.
What was delightful to notice was that they are now busy restoring all churches & manors and therefore boxes with comments of their work and donations to be given were found. We did give our part with great expectations!

Haapsalu travelogue picture
In the 19th century Haapsalu developed into one of the best known spa resorts in Russia. Also the famous russian composer Tchaikovsky and several members of the Royal family have all stayed here.

The bench is located on the way to the harbour when following the peaceful Promenaad street at the shore.

Do have a walk here!

Haapsalu travelogue picture
The main streets of Haapsalu are quiet.
Actually the street net is dating back from the medieval time.
Wooden buildings with the hint of Nordic house style are most common.

Vana Apteek
- the old pharmacy - dating from 1772 is one of the oldest building in Haapsalu and located close to the market place.
Tsar Alexander I has stayed here.
The old town hall is now a Heritage Museum (below right).

Haapsalu travelogue picture
Since the 13th century Haapsalu and it´s surroundings had been inhabited by the coastal Swedes.
There´s a special Swedish Village museum located close to the harbour.

Haapsalu travelogue picture
During a day trip, what is the most suitable lunch food if not a typical Estonian pizza :-)?

Pizza Grande restaurant at Karja street serves quality pizzas in a jugend atmosphere.

When eating outside You should order pizzas and pay them first inside.

Don´t forget to order your local beer!

Other recommendations:
Haapsalu travelogue picture
Not more than 10 kilometres on the Tallinn highway there is an interesting house museum of an eccentric artist called Ants Laikmaa.
He was one of the founders of Estonian national art.
The house and the area is designed in an national-romantic style combined with the artist´s fantasies.

Ridala is an old village from as early as the 8th century.
Ridala church is the only church where the medieval frescos have been preserved (You can see them when the church is open :-)).

Published on Monday October 27th, 2003

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Sun, Jun 25 2006 - 06:04 AM rating by marianne

I just wonder if you did this on a day trip from Tallinn. I would appreciate your answer as I will go there next week.

Tue, Apr 27 2004 - 06:24 PM rating by britman

Love the clarity of the pictures and now looking forward to visiting Estonia one day! Thank you

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