Tallinn

Old Thomas weathervane

  Old Town         28 Jun 2022

One of Tallinn’s most recognised and legendary figures, the weathervane Vana Toomas (Old Thomas), can be seen guarding over Old Town from the top of the Town hall tower, rain or shine. Toomas wasn’t always as old as his current name suggests - according to the legend, as a wee peasant lad he won an annual archery contest that was only reserved for the nobility. He expected to get into a fair amount of trouble for winning, as it had never been done by someone of his lowly stature, but his win would not be in ‘vain’ as he was invited to become an apprentice guard. The next few years would see much adventure for our young hero as he performed numerous heroic deeds during the Livonian war and went on to serve Tallinn well past the usual retirement age. At some point later the townsfolk noticed a similarity between the weathervane and their favorite soldier and decided to honor him by giving his name to the vane. He has since become a symbol of the city.
Old Thomas kept watch over the old town until 1944 when the spire was hit in the Soviet air raid. The original Old Thomas is now enjoying his retirement in the Town Hall Cellar. His grandson, Old thomas no 3, is topping the Tower today.


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