Christmas at Niguliste Museum

St. Nicholas’ Church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children and the inspiration for the modern Santa Claus. As early as the medieval period, the tradition existed of giving children presents on Saint Nicholas Day in December. Even today, children in some countries of the world are visited by St Nicholas in a bishop’s cloak. Episodes from the beloved saint’s life can be seen on the magnificent winged retable in the church, made in the workshop of the Lübeck master Hermen Rode at the end of the 15th century.

Christmas at the Niguliste Museum and decorating the Christmas tree in cooperation with the interior decoration company Shishi has become a beautiful tradition and marks the start of a series of winter holidays celebrated at the museum. For the sixth year in a row, Shishi will amaze everyone with a spectacular Christmas tree, created specifically for the Niguliste Museum.

For Christmas 2016, the tree decorations were inspired by the most famous work in the Niguliste Museum: the Dance of Death, painted by Bernt Notke. However, in 2017 Shishi surprised us with a more cheerful theme: the silvery and sparkling Christmas tree decorated with charming ornaments was based on the Christmas traditions of the Victorian era. In 2018, we celebrated the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and the Christmas tree was more formal than usual and dedicated to the homeland’s jubilee. In 2019, the tree had a paradise theme and was decorated with gorgeous colourful parrots. In 2020, the Niguliste Christmas tree decorations were made from natural and recycled materials and in 2021 the decorations were dedicated to bright colours.