We should achieve a state where no one would dare to justify their crimes with the claim that they had orders to fulfil.
(Lennart Meri, former president of Estonia)



Pagari 1, Tallinn
(entrance on Pikk Street 59)

Opening hours
May - September: Mon-Sun 10.00-18.00
October - April: Mon-Sun 11.00-18.00
Closed on the following public holidays:
New Year's Day (1st of January), Good Friday, Christmas (December 24-26).

Ticket 5 €
Concession ticket (students, seniors) 4 €
Family ticket 11 €

Free admission:
- Children aged 8 and under
- Disabled persons with an accompanist
- ICOM members
- Tallinn Card holders
- Journalists holding a valid IFJ International Press Card (IPC)

Guided tours at the KGB Prison Cells (pre-booking required):
Guided tour in the cells approx. 45 min (up to 15 participants)
EN, FI, RU, FR, greek: Mon-Fri 35 €, Sat-Sun 45 €
Ticket price is not included.

Guided tour in the cells approx. 20 min (up to 15 participants)
EN, FI, RU, FR, greek: Mon-Fri 35 €, Sat-Sun 45 €
Ticket price is not included.

Guided tour outside, in front the building approx. 20 min (up to 40 participants)
EN, FI, RU, FR, greek: Mon-Fri 35 €, Sat-Sun 45 €
Ticket price is not included.

Please contact us for bookings:
Aive Peil
Program manager
+372 666 0045
We will respond to you on weekdays from 09.00 to 17.00.



KGB Prison Cells

In the heart of the Old Town at Pagari 1 lies the former KGB headquarters in Tallinn. The building has long been a symbol of the former Soviet oppression in Estonia. For thousands of Estonians, the course of suffering began from this place. This summer KGB Prison Cells will be opened for visitors after being inaccessible for years.

The building at Pagari Street, constructed as a civil residence in 1912, has a remarkable role in the modern history of Estonia. After the Estonian Declaration of Independence in 1918 it held the meetings of Estonian Provisional Government and during the Estonian Liberation War (1918-1920) and the following time of independence, it served as a headquarters for Ministry of Defence and Estonian Army.

The building became a house of horrors from October 1940, when the sub-office of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union in Estonia moved into this premises. The terror had begun already in June 1940 – when Estonia became occupied – with the imprisonment of the ideological enemies of the communist regime. Estonian politicians, state officials, businessmen, intellectuals, military officers, veterans of the War of Independence along with other public figures were imprisoned and interrogated. Those subject to interrogation were tortured and then brought before a tribunal that either sentenced them to death or to prison camp for a lengthy term. Also sentencing to a prison camp meant mostly excruciating death in a Gulag camp.

In 1941, cells were built in the cellar of the building. The bricked-up basement windows were intended to mute the sounds of the interrogations and torturing. Although the detention centre was used only until 1950, the action taken between the walls lives in the memories to this day and the cells have remained as symbols of communist terror. The prison cells at Pagari Street stand as silent and intimate witnesses, telling the stories of atrocious violations of human rights and the crimes of inhumane regimes.
Today the building is functioning again as a civil residence. The circle of memory has been completed.

The exhibition of the KGB Prison Cells is created by the Museum of Occupations in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and the Estonian National Heritage Society.
The Project of the KGB Prison Cells is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum and the Museum of Occupations.













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