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Destination Details

Tallinn, Estonia

Exquisite altarpieces, medieval burial slabs and other works of religious art can be seen in this 1230-era church-turned-museum.

Saints, dancing skeletons and silver – not to mention the occasional organ concert – are the main attractions here.

Founded by German merchant/settlers from the island of Gotland, the sturdy church was designed to double as a fortress in the days before the town wall was built. The building survived the Reformation looting of 1523, but wasn't so lucky in the 20th century when it was destroyed by World War II bombs.

Since its restoration in the 1980s, St. Nicholas' has functioned as a museum specialising in works of religious art, most famously Bernt Notke's beautiful but spooky painting Danse Macabre (Dance with Death). Intricate altarpieces, baroque chandeliers and centuries-old burial slabs are also on display, while the Silver Chamber is home to stunning works by members of town's craft guilds.

The building's acoustics also make it a prime concert venue, with organ or choir performances held here most weekends.

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