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The development project

The concept of the Museum and Visitor Centre of Fat Margaret grew out of the discovery of a medieval shipwreck, a cog, in Kadriorg in Tallinn in 2015.

The timeline of the development project:

  • In 2016, the curators of the Estonian Maritime Museum launch the research work required to create the exhibition.

  • In the summer of 2016, an idea competition is announced to find a new architectural solution for the building complex. The competition is won by the ‘Laine’ design submitted by KOKO Arhitektid.

  • In 2017, the interior design competition is won by Inphysica Technology who submitted the ‘Vetemaa’ design.

  • In the autumn of 2017, Platvorm OÜ who won the open procurement procedure starts creating the digital solution of the exhibition.

  • On 31 January 2018, the exhibition, which has been open since 1981, is closed. A large-scale process of moving out begins.

  • In May 2018, Enterprise Estonia (EAS) decides to support the ‘Development of the building complex of Fat Margaret into a modern family-focussed museum and visitor centre’ project with 2.07 million euros from the support measure for family tourism attractions.

  • In May 2018, Polaar OÜ launches the process of giving a graphic identity to the entire exhibition.

  • In June 2018, a construction contract is entered into with Acres OÜ, the leading partner for construction works.

  • In the autumn of 2018, a fragment of a medieval wall is found under the Fat Margaret tower in the course of construction works and a fragment of a wall and a channel from the courtyard which enable historians to specify their approach to medieval fortification of cities. Changes are made in the project design documentation to display the finds.

  • On 16 October 2018, the cornerstone capsule marking the development project of the cog hall is placed. In December 2018, the time capsule from 1979 marking construction of the Estonian Maritime Museum is found from the artillery tower in the course of building the foundation for the support poles. The capsule is placed back in a pole supporting the tower.

  • In the beginning of the winter of 2018, there is a high concrete base waiting for the future star exhibit, the cog, in the courtyard. The Museum and Visitor Centre is scheduled to be opened in the end of 2019.

After opening of the museum, the Great Coastal Gate and the Fat Margaret artillery tower will be serving the visitors in the full extent. The new family-focussed exhibition, which offers a wealth of experiences, will take the visitor to the exciting world of maritime trade and shipbuilding. The story which begins from medieval Tallinn highlights the importance of Estonia as a maritime country and the importance of the sea for Estonia: the maritime culture of this country has remained persistent and is shaping our identities to this date. In addition to the wreck of the cog, there are ship models proudly exhibited in the museum which enable to tell the stories of entire fleets of ships. The exhibits and stories are supported by innovative smart technological solutions which provide information in a playful manner.

The development project provides equal opportunities for experiencing the unique medieval fortification of the city and the story of Estonian seafaring to visitors with special needs. The extent of accessibility exceeds anything seen in Estonia so far: the medieval building is turned wheelchair-accessible in the maximum possible extent, almost 90%, and will be equipped with an elevator, an induction loop with sound amplification which is compatible with hearing aids, a guide line for the visually impaired, tactile copies of selected ship models, etc. Ensuring the accessibility of the museum is supported by the National Foundation of Civil Society and by the EV100 initiative. Read more.

The factsheet of the development project (.pdf)

Name of the project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund: Developing the building complex of the Fat Margaret Tower into a modern family-oriented museum and visitor centre.

Brief description of the project: As a result of the project, the Fat Margaret Tower will be opened as a modern family-oriented museum and visitor centre, which will enrich the Estonian tourism landscape and provide additional motivation for foreign tourists travelling with families to visit Tallinn. The real potential of one of the most unique UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Old Town of Tallinn, the building complex of the Fat Margaret Tower, will be more pronounced in the cityscape, and a wonderful exhibit of maritime history will be created that will provide the joys of discovery for families.

Purpose and result: The primary goal of the project is to provide families with a visiting experience to explore the exciting world of shipping and shipbuilding, to increase the attractiveness of Tallinn as a family tourism destination, and to extend the time families stay in Tallinn.

The amount of support: 2,070,209.47 euros

Meie veebilehe kasutamise jätkamisega nõustute veebilehe põhifunktsioonide toimimiseks ja kasutaja eelistuste salvestamiseks vajalike küpsiste kasutamisega.

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