History of Kreutzwald Hotel Tallinn

The Kreutzwald Hotel Tallinn is located close to the National Library of Estonia at Tõnismägi, one of the most famous landmarks in Tallinn, and takes its name from the former name of the library, the Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald State Library.

The hotel is set within a historical limestone building and was completed in 1953, at about the same time the library was named after Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, an outstanding public figure in the 19th century national awakening and author of the Estonian national epic poem, “Kalevipoeg“.

Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, (Born 26 December 1803 at the Jõepere Manor in Kadrina, Lääne-Viru County and passed away 25 August 1882 in Tartu) was an Estonian writer and physician who is considered to be the father of Estonia’s national literature.

Friedrich’s parents were serfs. His father worked as a shoemaker. After the liberation of 1815, the family was able to send their son to school at the Rakvere district school. In 1820, he graduated from secondary school in Tallinn and worked as an elementary school teacher. In 1833, Kreutzwald graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tartu and he married Marie Elisabeth Saedler on August 18 of the same year. From 1833 to 1877, he worked as the town physician in Võru, Estonia. He was the member of numerous scientific societies in Europe and received honorary doctorates from many universities.

Kreutzwald is the author of several moralistic folk books, most of them translated into German: “Plague of Wine” 1840, “The World and Some Things One can Find in It” 1848–49, “Reynard the Fox” 1850, “Wise Men of Gotham” 1857. In addition to these works, he wrote the national epic poem “Kalevipoeg” (‘Kalev’s Son’) and many other works based on Estonian folklore, such as “The Old Estonian Fairy-Tales” (1866), collections of verses and the poem “Lembitu” (1885), published after his death.

Kreutzwald is considered to be the author of the first original Estonian book. He was one of the leaders of the National Awakening in Estonia, as well as a paragon and encourager of younger generations of Estonian-speaking intellectuals.