Published 01/12/2023 | 13:50

Christmas at the Niguliste Museum: a marvellous Christmas tree, viewing the illuminated Old Town and a special holiday programme

Last year Niguliste was closed for renovation, but the 2021 theme of the museum’s Christmas tree was “colourful delight”. Photo: Art Museum of Estonia – Niguliste Museum

The Niguliste Museum, which is located in the heart of Tallinn, invites people for the seventh time to celebrate the magnificent holiday period with us and to admire our marvellous Christmas tree.

Christmas at Niguliste has become an eagerly awaited tradition and marks the beginning of the winter holiday season at the museum. Once again, the museum’s Christmas tree will be decorated by the interior decoration company Shishi. “This year, the Advent season at the recently reopened Niguliste Museum will be somewhat different. Visitors can enjoy the Christmas illumination of the church, as well as gorgeous works of art, and discover for the first time at Christmas the spire, which has been opened to the public. A glass elevator brings people to a level just below the heavens, offering a view of the Old Town decorated for Christmas,” the programme manager and curator of the museum, Merike Kurisoo, explains.

The Christmas season at the museum starts with the lighting of the Niguliste Christmas tree on 3 December, the first Sunday of Advent. For the seventh year in a row, the Christmas tree on display at the Niguliste Museum will be decorated by the interior decoration company Shishi. As has become customary, the theme of the Christmas tree will not be revealed until the lighting ceremony.

The Niguliste Museum welcomes everybody to participate in our audience programmes and Christmas events. “This year, the focal point of the Christmas programme at the Niguliste Church will be the retable of the High Altar, which was created in the workshop of the Lübeck master Hermen Rode in 1481. The main protagonist of this artwork is the patron saint of the church, St Nicholas, whose legends form the basis of the Santa Claus tradition,” Merike Kurisoo says. The museum invites visitors to participate in evening guided tours on two occasions, 4 and 19 December at 18:00. The tours are meant for individual visitors, families and small groups of friends. The tours take place at a time when the museum is closed to regular visitors.

On 6 December, the Niguliste Museum celebrates the traditional Saint Nicholas Day. On this occasion, the retable of the High Altar will be fully open throughout the day in its most festive state.

On 10 December, the second Sunday of Advent, a Christmas decorations workshop will take place.

The museum also invites students and kindergarten children to participate in the annual Christmas-themed museum classes, “The Legends of St Nicholas”. The classes need to be reserved in advance.

Besides the traditional “Half an hour of organ music”, during the Christmas period, we will delight everybody with special organ concerts. Over the course of the four Advent weekends (on 3, 10, 17 and 23 December), organ music will be performed throughout the day at the Niguliste Museum by the renowned musicians Tiit Kiik and Andres Uibo.

The Christmas season at the Niguliste Museum begins on 3 December and ends on 7 January.