Re-visiting Patarei: Abandoned Soviet Prison

“This place is not fit for humans and never has been”

Still utterly fascinating and darkly captivating, Patarei Prison sits ominously on the Baltic coast; a dormant reminder of the oppressive inhumanity that dangerous offenders and political prisoners were subjected to, particularly during Soviet occupation. An abandoned prison left to its fate.

Typically, this notorious Soviet prison is bolted shut for the winter months, but in recent times she has opened her doors to those travellers adventurous enough to brave the damp, dark cells in winter.

Thanks to the extensive research of a few dedicated Estonians, the memory of this abandoned place is being kept alive. Through the collective testimony of dozens of ex-inmates and guards the events that took place within these walls have been collected; the stories re-told with a sensitivity and passion that lends an entirely new dimension this enthralling structure.

The words at the top of this piece are the opening words of this tour – words that resonate in the memory and seldom leave one’s thoughts for the duration of this excellent and thought-provoking tour.

This piece of art was actually crafted by an inmate. One of many extraordinary stories from within the walls of Patarei.

…followed by something a little more modern.

6 thoughts on “Re-visiting Patarei: Abandoned Soviet Prison

  1. mukul chand Reply

    Great Post

    1. tomtonks Reply

      Thank you very much!

      1. mukul chand Reply


  2. Suvi Reply

    This is a must see and I still haven’t been!! Next time I’m in Tallinn I will if it’s open.

    1. tomtonks Reply

      Its such a fascinating place Suvi. The tour is fantastic but you may be able to explore the prison on your own. Both are highly recommended.

      If you are in Tallinn this summer, you may also be able to attend one of the parties that are held in the prison as well!

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