After an early morning of cross-country skiing in the Estonian countryside, Stanislav Lomunov is back in the historic Tallinn Old Town City late on a Sunday morning to pursue another passion–sharing his love of Estonian history, architecture and culture.
Lomunov is a tour guide. He introduces himself to tourists as “Stan,” since he says his name is too long to remember. He has been a tour guide for over 15 years, but he says it feels like he’s been doing it forever.
“Oh you know, just for about 459 years,” he laughed. “Feels like yesterday.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lomunov had to find other work as the tourism industry collapsed.
“I could not even love it anymore, because it was not existing,” Lomunov said.
Once Tallinn returned to normalcy, Lomunov was eager to get back into the profession that he loves. One of the first stops on his two-hour tour is Toompea castle, a hilltop stronghold built in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Lomunov explained that at the break of dawn every morning, the Estonian blue, black, and white striped flag is raised above the castle’s medieval tower known as “Tall Hermann,” while a recording of the Estonian national anthem, “My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy” plays.
Born and raised in Estonia, Lomunov said he loves people and it brings him joy to show tourists architectural gems such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the building that houses the Riigikogu, Estonia’s Parliament, in a courtyard of Toompea Castle.
Lomunov said that in Estonia, everyone knows each other. Especially in Tallinn.
As if on cue, a woman and her child waved to him as they walked past his tour group.