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1.7.2024 | History

Kiek in de Kök is open to the public again

Text Mark Taylor
Photos Meeli Küttim, Kristjan Arunurm, Vahur Lõhmus

Kiek in de Kök is open to the public again

 

After almost a year of renovation, a new permanent exhibition on the city’s successful defence history has opened in the Kiek in de Kök tower in Tallinn’sold town. The exhibition is called “A Fortress City, A Safe Haven.” Tallinn is the only city in Estonian history that has never been conquered by enemy forces. The exhibition illustrates how the city, which prospered from the glove trade, invested in defences, city walls, and towers, and modernised its fortifications as weapons developed.

The new exhibition also includes artworks depicting the fortifications and their transformation over time into green spaces, parks, and homes for the city’s inhabitants. One of the main exhibits is the Epitaph of the Blackheads, a memorial to a fallen member of the Blackheads’ Brotherhood. This epitaph, the oldest surviving painting in Tallinn, has been adapted into a film for the exhibition, narrating its story to visitors.

The two lower floors of Kiek in de Kök also house an exhibition on the history of the Blackheads. The Blackheads were merchants who had a significant influence on Tallinn’s defence and social life. The motto of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, and of this exhibition, is “Victory or Death.”

The name of the tower, Kiek in de Kök (‘look/peek into the kitchen’), refers to how the guards could see from the tower into the enemy’s kitchens outside the walls. The upper floors offer beautiful views of the old town.

 

 

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
City Walls Estonian history Exhibitions in Tallinn Kiek in de Kök Museums in Tallinn Tallinn History Tallinn Old Town Visit Tallinn

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