Tallinn City Museum encompasses 10 sites around the town. Our main site is located in the Old Town in a medieval merchant with a history that reaches back to the 14th century. The permanent display there presents Tallinn’s history from its founding to the re-establishment of Estonian independence in 1991.
Tel (+372) 6155 180
The permanent exhibition at Vene 17 covers the history of the town from pre-history to the 1990s. The cellar houses a study collection of our porcelain and faiance collection (have a glimpse here), in December 2017 our collections of historic ceramics, copper and brass, and pewter will be opened to the public, too.
The medieval building at Vene 17 was turned into museum during extensive refurbishment works in 1963–65, another major renewal took place from 1997 to 2000. The same building also stores a major part of our collections and houses the administration of the Tallinn City Museum.
HISTORY AND AFFILIATE MUSEUMS
The idea to establish a city museum in Tallinn was first voiced in 1991. The museum, however, was officially founded only in 1937 as the Historic Museum of the City of Tallinn. Until then, the collections of historic items related to Tallinn was maintained by the City Archives.
Over time, a number of affiliate museums have been established in such historic buildings as the cannon tower Kiek in de Kök and the adjoining tunnels under 17–18c earthwork bastions, the Neitsitorn (Maiden Tower) tower of the city wall that now houses a café, former jail of the Town Council, now a photography museum, and the main building of the children’s park from the 1930s that serves as the Kadriorg Children’s Museum Miiamilla. In Kadriorg one can also visit the first residence of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great in Tallinn. Since 1997, we run the Children’s Museum in Kalamaja district and since 2004 we offer the possibility to study the remains of the medieval St John’s Almshouse, once located outside the city walls. In 2016, a display of decorative stones carved by Tallinn masters was opened in one of the bastion tunnels, and Tallinn Russian Museum became part of the City Museum.
The collections of the City Museum now include c 150,000 items connected to the history of Tallinn.
The first statutes of the Tallinn City Museum from 1937 declare: “Tghe aim of the Historical Museum of the City of Tallinn is to acquie, collect and preserve all items of historic and artistic value and related to cultural history that directly or indirectly are related to Tallinn, their research and presentation to the wider public.”
In 2015 we started co-operating with Google Inc. and since October 2016 everyone has the chance to visit the virtual Tallinn City Museum on Google Arts & Culture platform. The virtual museum includes 3D tours of three of our sites – City Museum in the Old Town, Kiek in de Kök, and the house of Peter the Great. It also contains pictures and information about more than 160 items, most of which are not on public display, as well as a number of virtual exhibits.
Views of Tallinn cityscapes from our collections at Google Arts & Culture