Courtyard

The outbuilding is semi-circular only on the side facing the courtyard; the walls facing the street follow the boundaries of the lot with all their irregularities.

There is an outbuilding opposite the main building of Stenbock House, originally designed as a carriage house, stables, a warehouse, living quarters for court attendants and jail guards, and partially also as jail cells.

The building is intentionally enclosed on all sides to seclude and close off the courthouse so that it could also function as a jailhouse.

The outbuilding was not attached to the main building until 1891 in the course of reconstruction work, which is why the arched building creates the illusion of a winged building today.

Some of the first storey windows of the outbuilding have been reconstructed as oval windows, just as they were at the end of the 18th century.

The horseshoe shaped courtyard that can be accessed from Rahukohtu Street through the vaulted main gate is at present paved with cobblestones at the edges and with granite parquet bricks and grey and red bricks in the centre.

The linden tree growing in the courtyard of Stenbock House is a northern large-leaved linden (Tilia platyphyllos). It is estimated to be around 90 years old.

In good conditions, a tree of this species can live for as much as a 1,000 years. In Estonia, it is on the northern border of its range, which is why it is hard to predict a 1,000-year future for the tree.

The Stenbock House linden tree stands in solitary splendour with ample space, light, moisture, warmth and shelter for wind – therefore, it is a healthy, young tree.

In spring, the large-leaved linden comes into leaf two weeks earlier, and in autumn also its leaves fall on average two weeks earlier than ordinary linden trees. In warm courtyards in particular, the vegetation period may last even longer if the earth is warm and there is no frost to nip the buds and leaves.

It is not known how the tree got here but you can see when it was small in the photo from 1930.

Stenbock House courtyard and the linden tree. Photos: Raigo Pajula, Artur Sadovski and Government Office
Stenbock House in 1930. Photo: Library of Tartu University, Karl Akel
Stenbock House courtyard in 1992. Photo: Erik Prozes

Concerts at the Stenbock House courtyard

The concerts are held in Tallinn's best open-air concert hall, in the courtyard of the Stenbock House already since 2001 in cooperation with the Government Office and the State Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert.

The Stenbock House courtyard is an acoustically superb concert hall that does not need additional amplification. This concert hall in the courtyard of a building housing the seat of government is unique in the whole of Europe!

The high-class concerts are free and open to all.

The Estonian National Men’s Choir, Hortus Musicus, Rondellus, the Tallinn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra conducted by Eri Klas, Rein Rannap, Raivo Tafenau, Jaan Tätte and Marko Matvere, the Noorkuu (New Moon) Vocal Group, Helin-Mari Arder, Silvi Vrait, Hedvig Hanson, Gerli Padar, Tõnu Naissoo and many other artists have performed in the Stenbock House courtyard.

Courtyard concerts. Photos: Government Office

Last updated: 01.10.2020