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Photo by: Toomas Volmer

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.0

based on 355 reviews

Location (map)

Pikk tn 70, Tallinn

Old Town

Website

Visit website

Contact

info@meremuuseum.ee

+372 641 1408

Information

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Child-friendly

 

Great Coastal Gate and Fat Margaret Tower

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Fat Margaret's Tower is closed for renovations. Reopening autumn 2019.
Guarding the north end of Pikk street, these two defensive structures provide an eye-opening glimpse into Tallinn's maritime past.

The medieval-era Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav) and Fat Margaret tower (Paks Margareeta) were built not only to defend the city from the seaward side of town, but also to impress any visitors arriving via the harbour.

These days Fat Margaret’s cannon tower is home to the Estonian Maritime Museum, which provides a detailed look at the all-important sea-faring aspect of Estonia’s history, displaying such things as Neolithic fishing gear, antique diving equipment, and even the entire wheelhouse from a 1950s-era trawler. The extensive museum covers four floors of the historic tower.

From May until September, visitors can take the stairs to the rooftop for a picture-postcard view of the Tallinn harbour and Old Town while enjoying the cold treats from an ice cream café.

The Great Coastal Gate, along with the Viru Gates, are the last of six gates that controlled access to the town in medieval times. The gate system here on Pikk street originated in the 1300s, but it was during reconstruction in the early 16th century that the Fat Margaret cannon tower was added. Built from 1511 to 1530, this hefty, round tower has a diameter of 25 metres, a height of about 20 metres, and walls up to 5 metres thick.

The origins of Fat Margaret's name are a mystery. Some theories insist it was named for one of its larger cannons, while others hint at a cook called Margaret who once worked here.

In any case, the tower has served a number of different functions throughout its history. It has been used a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons, and as a prison.

Fat Margaret is closed for renovation. The museum will be opened again in the fall of 2019. 

Location (map)

Pikk tn 70, Tallinn

Old Town

Website

Visit website

Contact

info@meremuuseum.ee

+372 641 1408

Information

More

Child-friendly

 

TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

"wide round tower"

4.0

October 17, 2018, by mabinho

A broad circular tower, in sharp contract to that on the other side of the city gate. Appeared to be under restoration this summer. Theres also a view-point close by. Read more

"Will be better when the museum reopens"

4.0

October 16, 2018, by Richard A

Fat Margaret is a round 16th century Canon Tower housing the Estonian Maritime Museum. The museum is currently closed and not due to reopen until late 2019. Fat Margaret’s walls are amazingly... Read more

"Photogenic, as something a little unusual"

4.0

October 16, 2018, by Tony36

It was closed when we passed by it. Thought of it as being "the mother" of all our Martello Towers back in the UK. You cant miss it if you approach the Old Town from that side of the walls. Read more

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