St Catherine's Passage – Tallinn, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

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St Catherine's Passage

A medieval setting reimagined into a unique art alley.  


This narrow passage with an unusual set of arched beams, which seem to be keeping apart the walls of the medieval buildings on either side, has seen a remarkable turnaround since the Soviet era.

A photograph taken in 1974 shows the buildings on one side being in a state of disrepair and the medieval friary was used as a car repair workshop. It is now been reborn, with a wide range of artisan workshops including glass workers, painters, textile artists, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.

On the other side of the street is a wall part of the once massive St Catherine’s Friary. The wall is adorned with historic tombstones that were removed from the friary grounds. Part of the building that entered through what was the main entrance of the friary has been converted to a mixed-use arts space. In September 2022, it was in use as a temporary gallery displaying an unusual mix of three-dimensional objects.

This remarkable street runs between Müürivahe Tänav, on the edge of the old town next to the town wall, and Vene, emerging into the heart of the old town.

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October 5, 2022

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