The Old Town rewards the eagle-eyed traveller. From the Devil’s Wedding to the ‘L’ in the Old Town Square, hidden stories permeate this town. For those in the know (or, to be more accurate, those who read this blog), the sheer volume of Myths and Legends in the Old Town alone add a rich layer of intrigue and charm to this already beautiful city.
This tale concerns an old man. An old man perched on a roof top. An old man who likes to stare. An old man who should know better.
Balanced high above the corner of Pikk and Hobusepea Street, this old man looks very respectable in his fashionable grey jacket, buttoned-up smart blue shirt and elaborate ‘judges wig’ haircut, his non-chalante pose and strikingly hipster ‘opera glasses’ exuding an aura of high-class presentability. Looks, however, can be deceiving.
Legend states that the house upon which the old man now sits was once home to a merchant and his beautiful young wife. Fairly unremarkable in their day-to-day activities, neither the old man or this couple would be worthy of a page in a story book. One night, however, as the young wife was getting undressed, she noticed an elderly man in the house opposite, staring at her through the window. Disgusted, she put her clothes on and abruptly exited the room.
Not taking the hint, the old man continued to sit in his room with his glasses held to his face squinting across at the merchants wife as she changed. At the end of her tether, she finally complained to her husband about their perverted neighbour and the two began to plot their revenge.
The husband had no desire for violence against the elderly gentleman but instead hired the most skilful sculptor he could afford to craft a statue of the old man, complete with ‘opera glasses’ which he placed on top of his house.
From this point onwards, whenever the excited old man was overcome with intrigue and glanced across at the merchants beautiful wife, he would be confronted by his twin, cast in stone, leering back at him through rounded spectacles to remind him of his own debauchery.
The statue of the old man remains on the rooftop to this very day – a light-hearted reminder of one old mans inability to quell his curiosity.