Great Guild Hall

The EHL Site

The Great Guild Hall building in Tallinn, is the narrator of the story a Hanseatic merchant who was also a businessman, ambassador, cultural diplomat, innovator, importer of innovations, distributor of ideas, developer of urban culture.

The Great Guild, founded in Tallinn in the 13th century, was an association of the city’s most influential merchants, who in 1410 built a special building for their regular meetings. The Great Today, Guild Building is one of the most monumental and famous buildings in the medieval Tallinn’s Old Town, which is World Heritage-listed.

Over the centuries a variety of events have been held in the Great Guild Hall, ranging from grand parties to church services and court proceedings. The Great Guild Hall has housed the Estonian History Museum since 1952. In 2010–2011 the building underwent thorough restoration and refurbishing.

European dimension

In 2014, the Building of the Grand Guild was among the first to be awarded the new European Heritage Label. Estonian History Museum activities values this building as a meeting place for merchants of the Hanseatic League and introduces it to the public in Europe as one of the tourist attractions.

The organization

Great Guild Hall belongs to the Estonian History Museum (founded 1864). The mission of the museum is to be a platform of free thought, where stories are told to increase awareness of history. The museum creates new opportunities to introduce cultural-history and expands visitors range and circle of like-minded people.

We are proud that the Great Guild building serves as a meeting place, offering opportunities to understand the past, but also a place where today’s important topics are discussed. Over the course of 10 years, we have done several temporary exhibitions that talk about Hanseatic culture and its meaning and brought people together here to discuss pivotal processes.