‘Stories are powerful. Telling a good story can transport you to any place, any time. After all, history is just stories from the past and everyone likes a good story.’
Kindra Jones (aka The Lady Knight)
#time4estonia steps back into
AJALUGU = history, the story of time
Did you know that the 800-year-old Tallinn Old Town inhabits a total of 17 churches?
Today we will take you to one of the most prominent one – St Nicholas’ Church. It was completed in 1230 and named after the patron of merchants and sailors, but in March 1944 the church was badly hit in the biggest bombing of Tallinn.
Now it functions as a concert hall and the museum where you can find one of the greatest tourist attractions of Tallinn Old Town – the Dance of Death (Danse Macabre) by the renowned medieval German painter Bernt Notke. An initial fragment of the original 30 metre (98.4 ft) long painting was accomplished at the end of the 15th century.
The Dance of Death paintings were quite common during medieval times, featuring everyday fears of people with the subject of death, related to plague, epidemics and Hundred Years War in which millions of lives were lost. ‘Death’ was a messenger of God, reminding people that we are all equal in front of him. Sadly, this remains very topical today. One can only wonder how the future generations would depict the symbolism in the artwork created during the current epidemic.
Let us now hear the story behind Notke’s Dance of Death, told by a well-known Estonian actor Sergo Vares whom you may have spotted in National Theatre’s Hamlet back in 2015, as Fortinbras, next to Benedict Cumberbatch.
Watch the video
For further information, view the Art Museum of Estonia’s digital collection: https://digikogu.ekm.ee/eng/fpage/search
#time4estonia is Mon – Fri 4pm Estonian Embassy in London Facebook series where you can discover Estonian artists, writers, musicians, architecture, cities, museums, galleries, nature etc. We will give you a hint of Estonian language (eesti keel [ˈeːsti ˈkeːl]), our humour and Estonian spirit.