One of Russia's most imposing prisons during the times of the Soviet Union, Patarei still stands guard over Estonia as an imposing monument to Soviet oppression.
The beautiful triangular fortress of Patarei, built for Nicholas I in the early nineteenth century and used in the twentieth as a Soviet prison, is now open to the public as a museum.
The former prison has been left exactly as it was when it was closed in the early 2000s, right down to used cotton swabs in the operating room. The cells still contain the books and magazines the prisoners were reading, including porn. You can climb up to where guards were once stationed, looking down into the tiny cells.
Besides the cells and hospital of the dark, damp former prison, Patarei also houses a sauna and a bar facing the sea. Occasionally used a venue for massive raves, the sprawling stone fortress represents simultaneously many eras of Estonian history and the history of incarceration.
This prison, it's grounds and cells, are a must see for any visitor to Tallinn. Having visited numerous restored sites around the world.
The whole prison truely has been left in disrepair which is awesome. Too many sites are merely reconstructed. Here you can walk around the dark and gloomy corridors with some seriously scary cubbyholes which I skirted. Take someone with because the prison is reminiscent of something out of a horror movie. Also remember a torch!!
The only people giving this one star are those who assume that it will be open yearround to suit their travel arrangements!
English Speaking Guide
Dont't forget to take camera!
£ 45 per person