Patarei Prison, Tallinn


Most of the tourists in Tallinn, Estonia will see only the Old Town. It’s fine but there is also more to see, if you just walk a couple of kilometers out of the city center.

Towards north west from the center, in Põhja-Tallinn (North Tallinn) is Patarei Prison.

The guard tower on the east side of Patarei Prison

The guard tower on the east side of Patarei Prison

The history of Patarei extends to early 1800’s. The construction of Patarei sea fortress started 1929 and was completed 1840. It was changed into barracks in 1867.  It acted as a prison from 1920 until 2002 when the last prisoner left the building, apparently alive as the last execution took place there on 11 September 1991, twenty days after the re-independence of Estonia.

Today Patarei is a culture park, opened on 2007. From May to September it is open for visitors, so I had to see it only outside – a good reason to visit it soon again.

Click any image to open the gallery.

About Olli Laasanen

Eyes and ears open. New and old. Jobs and hobbies. Pictures and music. Entertaining and serious. Change and stability. Nature and urban.
This entry was posted in Estonia, photography, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Patarei Prison, Tallinn

  1. Rigby says:

    Only the bars on the Gate Shutter have no rust…and they’re different thicknesses. The colours and texture of the rust, stone and metal in the photo of the Doorbell are beautiful. You have captured the bleak hopelessness of the place almost too well, although some shots seemed slightly out of focus when enlarged. It’s tempting to feel pleased that such terrible places have been converted to more peaceful purposes, until you realise they were not closed down until bigger and more bleakly secure places had been built to replace them. I can never reconcile myself to Man’s inhumanity to Man. Thanks, (I think) for posting these.🙂

    • Good thinking, again, Rigby, thanks! (Maybe I should not explain my images, but I make now an exception. The picture from the court of the prison is not in focus, but the wires separating the freedom and prison are. This is intentional. I aim was to convey the feeling of the inmates: they – like we – can see the fence but not clearly what is behind that.)

      • Rigby says:

        Thanks for the explanation…yes, it makes excellent artistic and psychological sense, especially the shot of the inner court. It’s as if one’s eyes are clouded by tears, able to see the wires, but not the freedom. Hopeless regret for all that’s lost.

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