The White Hall (Great Hall) of the House of Blackheads is one of the oldest halls for public use in Tallinn built expressly for the purpose of entertainment. It is known that it was built in 1531–1532 and was one of the first Renaissance-style rooms in the Baltic lands. The hall acquired its current appearance in the course of the comprehensive reconstruction work carried out in 1909–1911. The fact that the hall is on the first floor when entering from the Pikk Street side, yet it is on the third floor when looking out the windows facing Pühavaimu Street, adds uniqueness to the White Hall. Just as in times of old, when the hall was the largest hall of the Brotherhood of Blackheads for festive banquets, parties and receptions, many different kinds of events are held here nowadays as well: from concerts, which have become customary, diverse festive events, to seminars and events with special state of the art technological designs. The hall is rented out together with 3 salons (the guild’s former storage rooms), which have access to one another and are conveniently separated from one another by doors.
Concert capacity: 260 seats
Floor capacity: 220 seats
Balcony capacity: 40 seats
Buffet capacity: 200 people
Fourchette capacity: 400 people
Room size: 54.18 m2
Buffet capacity: 20 people
Fourchette capacity: 40 people
A cosy side room from which large windows open onto Pikk Street is situated to the right of and a couple of stairs higher than the foyer. This room, which has fulfilled various functions over time, currently serves concert visitors as a high-quality café and is also in active use during various events held in the house.
Olaf’s Guild Hall
Olaf’s Guild Hall is the oldest and most festive hall of the House of Blackheads in terms of its architecture. Olaf’s grand hall built in 1419–1422 with two naves and a rare ceiling with High Gothic stellar vaults is considered to be one of the most brilliant architectural masterpieces in Tallinn. Individuals who worked in so-called small occupations in the Middle Ages assembled in the Guild of St. Olaf, representing both Estonian and Scandinavian members. The patron saint of this guild was King Olaf II Haraldson of Norway. The original layout of the room dates from the outset of the 15th century. The room was comprehensively restored in the latter half of the 18th century, and it was last rearranged by the Brotherhood of Blackheads in 1921–1922. The hall’s current overall appearance also dates from that period. Dark stained wooden panels made especially for this hall at the A. M. Luther furniture factory, that was located in Tallinn, cover the hall’s walls. Two dark blue neo-Renaissance style stoves (made to special order in Turku) decorated with embossed rose tiles are situated opposite the hall’s northern wall. Twelve-lamp chandeliers ordered from Berlin adorn the ceiling. Olaf’s Hall – the crown jewel of Tallinn’s gothic architecture – is considered one of the chamber halls with the best acoustics in the entire city.
Concert capacity: 100 seats
Buffet capacity: 90 people
Fourchette capacity: 180 people
Historically speaking, the Brothers’ Hall was one of the stateliest rooms in the entire building. When the Brotherhood of Blackheads started renting the private house located at 26 Pikk Street in 1406 for its gatherings, there was unfortunately not enough room for the nearly one hundred members of the Brotherhood. For this reason, the living and storage rooms on the second storey of the house were reconstructed in 1417 and a spacious hall was built with three windows providing plenty of light. After repeated renovations, the hall took on a majestic appearance and the most valuable part of the Blackheads’ collection of paintings, of which 27 portraits have been preserved to this day, was displayed in this hall. The room’s magnificent joisted ceiling and majestic doors vividly provide an indication of its former splendour. This hall is used primarily as a venue for training sessions and seminars nowadays, but also as a rehearsal hall for Tallinn’s Chamber Orchestra and as a concert hall for townspeople.
Concert / Seminar capacity: 100 seats
Buffet capacity: 80 people
Fourchette capacity: 150 people
The Brothers’ Room
The Brothers’ Room (Elders’ Room) situated beside the Brothers’ Hall is located in a building that the Brotherhood of Blackheads purchased in 1806. It was located in a building beside the main building and had an important place in the life of the Brotherhood. The first more extensive reconstructions were carried out immediately after the acquisition of the building. The former storage room, where a lovely stained glass window in a lead frame takes the place of the former cargo hatch, became one of the most important rooms for the Brotherhood – a meeting room where the Brotherhood’s relics were kept. The more valuable relics were kept here, including the silver so-called deer’s hoof goblet with its unusual shape, the Brotherhood’s flags and coat of arms with the motto Vincendum aut moriendum (Victory or death). Nowadays the rare collection of silver belonging to the Brotherhood of Blackheads, which was kept in a massive steel safe in the same room, is now on display at the Niguliste church-museum. A small-scale cannon was also kept in the same room. A beautiful glazed tile stove is the jewel of the room. Baroque concerts are held nowadays in this cosy room, and it has additionally been successfully used as a training session / seminar workshop, and as a photography and television studio.
Concert capacity: 50 seats
Buffet capacity: 20 people
Fourchette capacity: 50 people
A stylish restaurant, which was opened in 1922 with its interior designed by Ernst Kühnert, operated in the Basement Hall before the Second World War. The Basement Hall of the House of Blackheads acquired its current spatial form in 1419–1422 when the vaulting of the hall corpus of the upper storey took place. The Basement Hall’s extraordinarily thick foursquare buttresses date from precisely this time. The walls were originally covered with dark wood panelling. Billiard and card tables were also located in the room. The Basement Hall acquired a new countenance in the autumn of 2011 – a fresher appearance and club-style furnishing. This room is cosy and suitable for holding more spirited social events that do not require a very festive and classical interior. The basement floor has a separate entrance from Pühavaimu Street. Guests enter the house through a medieval passage and the inner courtyard, which enhances the building’s historical atmosphere.
With club-style layout: 95 seats
Buffet capacity: 80 seats
Fourchette capacity: 105 people
The inner courtyard paved with cobblestones dates from the Middle Ages. Horse-drawn carriages and cargo wagons moved by way of this courtyard between Pikk and Pühavaimu streets. Two mighty arches were built in the inner courtyard in 1531–1532, which support the White Hall above it. The section of street leading to Pikk Street was also closed off in the course of this construction work. There are several landings in the inner courtyard that lead to rooms that were located on different levels of the building. The inner courtyard’s remarkably fascinating milieu creates a special atmosphere through its architecture with Renaissance influences – concerts and theatre performances, coffee breaks and festive dinners have been held in this courtyard.
Concert capacity: 40 seats
Fourchette capacity: 40 places
Buffet capacity: 30 places
Fireplace Room aka “Small Basement” was first opened in 1908.
In the middle of the vaulted room is a large square pillar, covered with dark ebonized wood panels.
The rooms’ user undertakes to:
- Use the rooms of the House of the Blackheads prudently, in accordance with their intended purpose and the purpose of the event, keep the rooms and the common rooms and their furnishings clean and in a good order;
- guarantee no smoking in the rooms. The catering company undertakes to set ashtrays near the house entrance, to keep the front of the building clean;
- inform the House of the Blackheads as soon as possible about changes in the event’s agreed upon details (changes in performers, catering, times, number of visitors etc) at info[at]mustpeademaja.ee;
- vacate the rooms at the agreed time and in the condition they were at handover;
- take into account in the event planning that the House of the Blackheads has been declared a cultural monument by the 30.08.1996 regulation of the Minister of Culture.