Tallinn’s Vana turg (Old Market Square) where five streets converge is bustling by day, largely thanks to the very successful medieval restaurant Olde Hansa on the right. Called the pakkhoone (packhuss, packhaus), this warehouse was built in 1655 for storing imported goods, since foreign merchants sold their wares on the adjacent square. As of 1888, horse-drawn trolleys (hoburaudtee – “horse railway”) or the “konka” as it was called, made its final stop here before returning to Kadriorg.
Today the Olde Hansa Guild’s merchants, dressed in period costume shout “Tulge kuumale glögile!” (Come get your hot mulled wine!) and are famous for their warm candied almonds. By night this is another päkapiku (elf) hotspot no doubt; foreign merchant päkapikud perhaps, hauling sacks of muskaatpähkel (nutmeg), kaneel (cinnamon), nelk (cloves), ingver (ginger), kardemon (cardemon) and safran (saffron) for baking and vorstirohi (marjoram) for blood sausages.
Festive vanalinn by night (2)