Various concerts and activities are organised inside the ruins of the old Birgitta Convent. In August, the Birgitta Festival of the the Tallinn Philharmonic Society offers operas and concerts inside the old convent ruins. The festival concert hall within the ruins is equipped with cushioned seating in amphitheatre style, with covered windows and a roof.
The history of the Birgitta convent in Tallinn – the Pirita Convent – dates back to the fifteenth century. The idea to found a convent dedicated to St. Birgitta in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, was initiated by Tallinn merchants in 1400. The Pirita Convent operated for over 150 years and was the largest nunnery in Old Livonia. It was brutally destroyed by a short invasion of the Russian army in late January, 1575, and local inhabitants never restored most of the buildings. As late as the 1930s, potato field still covered the former nuns' quarters, and potatoes were stored in the former hypocaust of the abbess’ residence.
The first systematic excavations started in 1934 and led soon to remarkable findings. In the early 1960s the excavations shifted to south, focusing on remains on the east side of the monks quarters. The once existing Birgitta convent and its historical ruins in Tallinn had a special meaning for many Estonians during the last decades of Soviet occupation, reminding the nation of its long and rich past.
Birgitta Convent, Merivälja tee 18, 11911 Tallinn, Estland, Google Maps