Haapsalu Journals

Daytrip to Haapsalu

A September 2007 trip to Haapsalu by fizzytom

Haapsalu - view from castle Photo, Haapsalu, Estonia More Photos
Quote: How to spend a day in the pretty Estonian coastal town of Haapsalu

An Overview of Haapsalu

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Haapsalu - view from castle Photo, Haapsalu, Estonia
Situated just under 100 Kilometres from the Estonian capital, Tallinn, Haapsalu is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a charming little Baltic seaside town straight out of the days of the Tsars, a kind of Nordic Yalta, if you like. The town has a population of around 12, 000 but the main residential area with the customary post-war tenements are situated inland, while the picturesque attractions are clustered in the old town and at the edge of the water. In fact water features so much on the town that it is often described as the "Nordic Venice" although, personally, I found that epithet a little over the top. There has been a settlement at Haapsalu for centur...Read More
Haapsalu - view from the birders tower Photo, Haapsalu, Estonia
The Estonian coast is now regarded as one of the best spots in Europe for birdwatching. The mixture of coastline, bogs, coastal meadows, reedbeds and islands creates a series of environments that attract a huge array of birdlife.The Matsalu Nature Reserve is the most popular bird-watching area in the country. It is regarded as an important nesting and moulting site for birds.There are birds that make this area their home but there are plenty of others that drop by as part of their migration and the Estonian coast is a stopping off spot for birds en route to Finland and northern Russia. Spring is the best time ofr birdwatching in this area as thousands of geese and ducks pass th...Read More

The Railway Museum

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Attraction | "Trains Don't Stop Here No More..."

The Railway Station is a noteworthy Haapsalu building; it is no longer in use but does contain an interesting rail history museum that includes a reconstruction of a nineteenth century station ticket office and waiting room. The museum exhibits chart the history of the railways in Estonia and the role and lives of those employed on the railways. You can see old photographs, uniforms and various documents. The highlight is the Emperor's Pavillion with an ornate tiled floor and impressive mirror.Outside there is an old locomotive and different carriages from the early twentieth century.The reason for the striking design of the station is that it was used regularly by the Tsars wh...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 1, 2009

Haapsalu Castle and Cathedral

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Attraction | "Haapsalu Castle and Cathedral - Culture, History and Stunning Views"

Haapsalu Castle - a highlight of the town Photo, Haapsalu, Estonia
The main attraction in Haapsalu is the episcopal castle; the grounds are free to explore and you can clamber the walls and towers to take in some wonderful views of the watery landscape. Haapsalu was originally a collection of small marshy islands and this can be appreciated from the top of the bell tower. The "Small Castle" as it is known was a medieval convent and signs point out the use of each section - for example, the living quarters of the monks and bishops.There is a small admission charge for entry to the museum and there are free leaflets in different languages. Inside the castle is a fun exhibition of medieval weapons and machinery demonstrating basic engineering techniques. Vi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2009