The Telliskivi and Rotermann Districts of Tallinn

In the previous post I ended my journey through the Culture Kilometre walking trail at a restaurant in the Telliskivi, making for a nice introduction to the district in this post. I’ll also talk about the Rotermann district, which was named after an industrialist who lived at the turn of the 20th century.


Telliskivi literally means ‘bricks’ and this characterises the buildings here. The district is replete with old, industrial structures that have been repurposed and turned into a shopping and dining area.


I saw quite a lot of people hanging out in the area when I was there, although the unseasonably warm weather in May must’ve been a factor too (usually it’d be around 10 degrees; when I was there it was around 25 degrees daily).


In the photo below you’ll see a lady with a pram walking to an ice cream parlour to her left (the entrance is hidden from this perspective). I ate there as well – twice! The only flavour I can remember having ordered was one with plum, which was rather delicious. The reason I went twice was that I wanted two scoops of ice cream but, according to them, their cones were only large enough to accommodate one scoop. I suppose they could’ve always ordered or made bigger ones? But anyway, it was what it was and I went back for a second scoop of ice cream.


I’ll leave you with one more photo of Telliskivi. The row of buildings were used as warehouses, or at least they seemed to be used as such because I saw a goods truck parked inside one of them and another nearby the first.


Rotermanni kvartal

Like Telliskivi, the Rotermann district also has brick buildings. The latter, however, differs from the former in one fundamental way. Rotermann contains a mix of historical, brick structures as well as modern ones. Also, some of the old buildings are in a very bad way.

Good luck taking shelter in this building

Others are boarded up and abandoned, like this one here.


But lest one scoff at how the brick buildings of Rotermann are in an abject, decrepit state, allow me to also present something more functional.

The brick buildings look more presentable here

Also in the district are buildings that’ve clearly been completed more recently. It is this juxtaposition of old and new structures that gives Rotermann its charm, in my opinion. Furthermore the new buildings don’t look out of place and actually seem to complement what’s already there.



It’s probably because the more recent structures also feature brick in their exteriors, as can be seen below. I particularly liked this building’s style, although I had no idea what kind of architectural style it was built in. I suspect the name contains a neo- as a prefix.


Regardless of your opinion of brick as a building material, I think the Rotermann district is well worth a visit because it has a certain character. (Telliskivi too, although its vibe is completely different.) It won’t take long to see everything, and if you’re into architectural or abstract photography, the district should present you with no lack of opportunities to make some interesting photos.