Tallinn is unique; its medieval Old Town, an official UNESCO world heritage site, is preserved nearly in its entirety. The Old Town consists of an upper and lower town.
The upper town, Toompea (Dome Hil!), is perched on a limestone abutment about 20-30 meters higher than the surrounding area; until the 12th century it was the site of an Estonian citadel. Tallinn was known as a fine harbour and market-place as early as the 10th century, when Baltic Sea commerce started increasing.The area was known under the names Lindanise, Kolyvan and Reval in the 13th century.
Toompea's street plan is very old; according to some historians, the 11th century Estonian citadel's bailey was the site of today's Cathedral. Toompea has also naturally been the symbol and seat of power for each of the many foreign occupations of Estonia. Merchant buildings and structures for the knights and, later, nobility were erected here beside the fortifications and churches. In spite of the antiquity of the streets in this part of town, very few early buildings survive, due to fire.
Patkuli overlook on Toompea's northern flank provides a wonderful panoramic view of the city, harbour and the Gulf of Finland, while the platform at the end of Kohtu Street overlooks the southern side.