‘A Seaful of Excitement’, the permanent exhibition
On 11 May 2012, we opened a new exhibition in the historical Seaplane Hangar of the Seaplane Harbour. This three-level world (the underwater, surface and air levels) is meant for the entire family and contains numerous interesting exhibits. The ‘stars’ of the exhibition are the Lembit submarine, a Short 184 seaplane and the Maasilinn ship, one of Estonia’s oldest ship wrecks. Also on display are sail boats, ice boats, historical vessels, a large selection of naval mines and other naval equipment.
In addition to the exhibits there are interactive games, a cinema, a museum shop and Café/Restaurant MARU awaiting you. Outdoors you can visit the steam-powered icebreaker Suur Tõll, other museum ships on the quay (in summer), the children’s playground or just walk by the sea.
Besides the permanent exhibitions, there is almost always a seasonal exhibition in both of our buildings.
See also our seasonal exhibition in the Seaplane Harbour, ‘Vikings: Life Beyond the Legend’.
This main exhibition of the Estonian Maritime Museum is accommodated in a 16th-century artillery tower called Fat Margaret. The tower, once a part of Tallinn’s defence system, hosts a permanent exhibition on four floors and seasonal exhibitions about Estonia’s maritime history: boat and ship building, ports, navigation and lighthouses.
A display of archaic anchors is available in the inner courtyard, and the roof of Fat Margaret tower offers a spectacular view of the port and Old Town. A small coffee corner and a museum shop with souvenirs are open in the foyer.
See also our seasonal exhibition in Fat Margaret, ‘Viking-Era Treasures in Estonia’.
THE SUUR TÕLL
The steam-powered icebreaker Suur Tõll is moored at the quay in the Seaplane Harbour. The oldest and most dignified Estonian museum ship is one of the three steam-powered icebreakers from the early 20th century surviving on the Baltic Sea.
On board you can see the stately officers’ mess-room and captain’s cabin, crew’s quarters, an exhibition about the icebreaker’s history, the engine and boiler room, and much more. Authentic and interesting!
In summer 2015, the remains of a wooden ship were discovered in Tallinn during construction work. The wreck was temporarily named as the Tivoli Cog. A cog was a type of ship, well known in medieval Northern Europe, used for commercial or military purposes. Such ships were big-bellied, had a large cargo hold and in most cases just one mast and one big square sail.
The ship uncovered in Tallinn is approximately 18 metres long, has a flat bottom and was used as a cargo ship in trade with other Hanseatic towns. A number of well-preserved objects were discovered with the ship: leather footwear, axes with preserved wooden handles, remains of textiles, a bag with balls of yarn, a quern used for grinding grain, ceramics, etc. The objects found in the ship are unusually well preserved and their position inside the ship can serve as a basis for describing one-time life on board. This is one of the best-preserved medieval ships, providing us information about old-time navigation and shipbuilding that is available from no other sources.
Due to the festive period, we do have some exceptions in our opening times.
During Christmas, we are closed on December 23rd and 24th. As a special gift to our visitors, we are open on some Mondays, December 30th and January 6th.
On the occasion of celebrating 200 years of discovery of Antarctica, the Estonian popular scientific expedition on their way from Kronstadt, Russia to Antarctica calls into London and holds a joint public forum with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.
On August 7 an Estonian sailboat, ‘Admiral Bellingshausen’, will stay at Aker Brygge Marina, Oslo, and is open for visiting. At 14:00-18:00 PM a forum “Polar exploration then and now” takes place at the Fram Museum.