The tower was constructed together with the Town Hall in 1402 – 1404. The original Gothic pyramidal spire was replaced by a Late-Renaissance spire in 1627. The height of the Town Hall from the bottom of the arcade to the top of the spire is 64 meters.
A weather-wane - the figure of an old warrior called Old Thomas was put on top of the spire already in 1530. Old Thomas kept watch until 1944 when it was hit in the Soviet air raid. The burnt spire was reconstructed and a new copy of Old Thomas erected in 1952. In 1996 the spire was renovated and the third Old Thomas figure was put on top of the spire. The original Old Thomas is now enjoying his retirement in the Town Hall Cellar.
Tallinn Town Council used to have its own guards, who maintained order in town and watched for possible enemy troops or destructive fire from the tower. When something endangered the city, an alarm bell in the belfry was rung.
The alarm bell was made by Hinrik Hartman, a cannon master from Tallinn in 1586. There is a text on the lower edge of the bell: "Glory to God in the highest. Anno Domini 1586. Thou shalt keep thy fire and flame to protect the town against any harm."
The bell clapper was pulled from the rope. From the beginning of the 21st century the clapper is operated by the clock on the façade of the Town Hall by means of an electronic system. The bell rings on the hour according to the number of hours.
See how to visit the Town Hall Tower.