Old Toomas: The Old Town Weather Vane

The Legend of Old Toomas is one of the most popular and well-known tales in Tallinn folklore:

In old times, there was a famous archery contest held just outside the main city where contestants (only ever wealthy men) tried to hit a small wooden parrot with their crossbow and arrows. During this particular year, despite their best attempts, no contestants were succeeding. All of a sudden, a small boy [Toomas] stepped up, pulled out a wooden bow and hit the parrot off its perch in one shot.

He was scolded for spoiling the pleasure of the rich competitors and was fortunate to escape without a beating. Strangely, the King did not punish the boy and his family any further. Rather, he recognised the boys undoubted skill and ordered him to be schooled and trained at the towns expense.

Toomas later became a town guard and dedicated his life to the protection of Tallinn. He performed his duties in a good and dutiful manner and the townspeople held him in such high regard that when the weather vane for the town hall was made it was decided that a Toomas-esque figure should be placed upon it. Since 1530, the figure of Toomas has graced the top of the Town Hall and even today, he watches over the city. Supposedly seeing, hearing and knowing all.

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