The Great Guild.
The building of the Great Guild was the second largest secular building of the medieval Tallinn after the Town Hall. The Great Guild was an organization that united rich merchants of the city and protected business of the guild’s members. The mayor of Tallinn and the most important officials in the city were selected from the members of the guild. Only wealthy citizens of Tallinn who had a wife and a house were permitted to join the Great Guild. Foreigners, who wanted to join the organization, had to marry widows of dead members of the guild. The hall of the Great Guild was built in 1407-1417, and its size and decoration are the evidence of the great power that the guild had at the time. Nowadays, the building looks exactly like it did in the XV century. Visitors are usually amazed by the magnificent facade with a coat of arms and a bronze knocker. These days, the building houses the Museum of History, the permanent exhibition of which throws light upon the history of Estonia to the XVIII century.
The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads.
The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is one of the few buildings in the Renaissance style in Tallinn that have survived till our days. The Brotherhood appeared in 1399. It united young lone traders, who were waiting for their turn to be accepted in the “Big Guild”. Foreign merchants, who were temporarily living in Tallinn, were also allowed to enter the brotherhood. The name of the brotherhood appeared because of its patron, Saint Mauritius (he was black), a Christian martyr who died in 280 AD in Switzerland. The brotherhood operated only in Estonia and Latvia, and nothing is known about this organization in the rest of Europe. The members of the organization left the country in 40s of the XX century. The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads was restored in 1597. During the restoration the building received a facade made in the Dutch Renaissance style. The beautiful front door of the building was added in 1640. Do not forget to pay a special attention to the main hall of the building as it has wonderful vaulted ceilings and two aisles built in the XV century. In 1908, the inner premises of the building were restored, and its interiors were made in the neoclassical style.
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