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The development project

Recognition for the Fat Margaret Tower of the Estonian Maritime Museum:

2022 – The Estonian Tourism and Travel Association: Best Tourism Establishment of the Year 2021

2021 – European Museum Academy: III place in the Luigi Micheletti Award category, the category of best practices in museums

2021 – The pan-European competition European Design Awards: III place for interactive solutions

2020 – The pan-European competition Heritage in Motion: an award for digital solutions in the best achievement category

2020 – The Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards: II place in the Maritime, Coastal and Aquatic Heritage category

2021 – The Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s endowment of folk culture: museums’ prize of the year

2020 – The Estonian Museums’ annual awards: best permanent exhibition ‘Towering Tales of the Sea’, museum developer

2020 – The creativity and design award Kuldmuna: for the graphic design (Polaar Studio) and for the digital solutions (Platvorm) of the Fat Margaret Tower’s exposition

2020 – Tallinn Enterprise Board: Tourism Action of the Year

2020 – Estonian Association of the Blind: Action of the Year

2020 – Estonian Association of Architectural and Consulting Engineering Companies: Construction Project of the Year

The timeline of the development project 2016-2019:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In April 2019, as a result of two-day logistic operation, the cog was transported from a conservation hall at the Seaplane Harbour to the edge of the Old Town of Tallinn, and the 26 tons were lifted over the historic city wall.
  • In May 2019, the roof of the cog hall got its rafters.
  • On 27 August 2019, an elevator was installed into the Fat Margaret. The cannon tower became the first tower of the Old Town, which is accessible by elevator.
  • On 2 September 2019, the mast of the sailing ship “Triin” was installed back to the museum. Anniversary coin of the Song Festival was placed under the mast. Creation of the new permanent exhibition continued.
  • The Museum and Visitor Centre was opened on November 28th, 2019.

Our thanks to the partners 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