95 years of Estonian history
Here is a glimpse of some of Tallinn’s museums and their activities connected to the last 95 years. This period can be divided into three distinctive eras, the first independence 1918-1940, the war years and the Soviet occupation 1940-1991 and the re-independence from 1991.
The Estonian History Museum
The Estonian History Museum is the obvious place to get an overview of Estonian history. The period from 1918 to present day is presented in the exhibition. A will to be free, at the Maarjamäe Castle. The wonderfully renovated Great Guild Hall in the old town of Tallinn displays earlier Estonian history.
Maarjamäe palace, Pirita tee 56, Tallinn Great Guild Hall, Pikk 17, Tallinn Old Town
Tallinn City Museum One of the floors has been dedicated to the Republic of Estonia, the occupations and the singing revolution that led to re-independence. There is also a section on the role of the Estonians who escaped communism and did their best to preserve Estonian culture outside of Estonia.
Vene 17, Tallinn Old Town
Kiek in de Kök and the Bastions
The most impressive fortification tower in Tallinn, Kiek in de Kök is the entrance to the historical bastions. In Soviet times they were supposed to serve as bomb shelters and protect the communist elite in case of war. Komandandi tee 2, Tallinn
Estonian War Museum
The Estonian War museum is the place for all fans of war history. It not only tells the story about the War of Independance from 1918-1920 but also WWII and present day international Estonian peace keeping operations. Mõisa tee 1, Viimsi
The Museum of Occupations
At the Museum of Occupations visitors can follow the activities of the Forest Brother guerrilla units. Toompea 8, Tallinn Old Town
The Museum of Estonian Architecture
Estonian architecture is a reflection of social, economical and political developments in society. Estonian architecture was at its best in the 1930s; during Soviet times communist ideology overshadowed its development. Ahtri 2, Tallinn
KUMU Art Museum
Visitors are surprised when they discover how closely Estonian art was connected to European influences in the pre-war period and how abrupt the change was after the Soviet occupation. In the 1960s pop-culture entered and the Estonian art scene became one of the most avant-garde in the whole Soviet Union. Weizenbergi 34, Tallinn
The Estonian Maritime Museum, opened last year, is probably the most fascinating of its kind! It is located in the hangars of the Seaplane Harbour. The museum brings you to a spaced out utopian world. The submarine Lembit elegantly hanging above the visitors was built in the 1930s and is in harsh contrast to small rowing boats used in the great escape to the West during WWII. Vesilennuki tänav 6, Tallinn
The Estonian Jewish community has always been very small, nevertheless Jews played an important role during the first independence. During Soviet times Jews found escape in Estonia, away from antisemitism in Russia. Karu tänav 6, Tallinn
The Estonian Open Air Museum
At he The Estonian Open Air Museum you can follow developments in rural Estonian during the 1930s, this included not only farming but also community life. Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, Tallinn
* Please check museum opening hours, as most museums are closed on Mondays.