Most towers of old Tallinn’s defense system are known by a nickname and „Fat Margret“ (Paks Margareeta) is no exception. Among all the 29 surviving towers of the city wall, this is the stoutest – hence the nickname. At the base, its walls have a thickness of 4 meters! The tower was built in the early 16th century and served as a storehouse for all kinds of weapons used to defend the city. Later, between 1830 and 1917, it was used as a prison. Today it houses the Estonian maritime museum.
The great coastal gate (Suur Rannaverav) was also added during the reconstruction of the northern city walls in the early 16th century. Due to the proximity to the harbour, it was once the main entrance into the old city of Tallinn.
The Great Coastal gate is called Suur Rannavärav in Estonian and – together with the Fat Margaret's Tower (Paks Margareeta) it was built as a defense on the seaward side of town – it also aimed at impressing people coming in from the sea. The gate was built when the defensive walls where pulled up, while the tower is a 16th century addition.
The name Fat Margaret comes from the fact that this round tower with a diameter of 25 meters, a height of about 20 meters and 155 loopholes, is the largest of all the towers of the city wall. Once a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons, and a prison, the Fat Margaret is now the home of the Estonian Maritime Museum.
In the 16th century Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta) was added to the Great Coast Gate. It is a huge rotund bastion that protected the entrance of the town.
The round tower has a diameter of 25 metres, the height is about 20 metres and the walls are more than 4 meter thick.
The origin of the name is a mystery. One will say it was the name of one of the larger cannons that was at Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta), others will say it was the name of a cook (Margaret) who once worked here.
Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta) had various functions in the past: storehouse for gunpowder and weapons & a prison. Nowadays there is a musuem at Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta) named the Estonian Maritime Museum.
The Great Coast Gate is an enormous, squat cannon tower, built at the start of the 16th century, and known locally as "Fat Margaret". The tower's enormous girth, with walls up to five and a half meters thick, was designed to fend off attackers coming in from the Baltic Sea. Later it was turned into a prison which was liberated and set on fire during the 1917 revolution. Now it serves as a Maritime Museum, with great views of the lower town and harbor from the top.
The Great Coast Gate - Suur Rannavarav and Fat Margaret's Tower - Paks Margareeta, were built primarily as a defensive unit on the seaward side of the Old Town. The gate was built in the early 16th century along with the Fat Margaret's Tower, a huge, round, canon tower. The humourous name of the canon tower came from the fact that it was, and still is, the widest tower in the city walls, with a diameter of 25 metres. The tower has 155 loopholes and stands at a height of 20 metres. During the course of history the tower has served as a storehouse and also housed a prison for a while. Today, the Tower houses the Estonian Maritime Museum and has a viewing platform at the top.
Actually called Paks Margareeta, or Fat Margaret!, this round or rotund 16th century bastion protected the Great Coast Gate entrance into the Old Town. Its walls are more than 4 metres thick at the base. Inside is the Sea Museum which has great views from the platform on the roof.
Just outside the round tower in the grounds is the white cross that was erected in 1995 in memory of the 900 or so victims of the Estonia ferry disaster when the ferry sank in 1994 travelling between Stockholm and Tallinn.
This structure is located not so far from the sea in Tallinn's old town. It was used to protect attacking from the sea port. The tower is impressing because of being fat, with diameter of 25 meters. Tower is the fattest in town and was used as storehouse for gunpowder, weapons, and as a prison. Now it houses Estonian Maritime museum.
Great Coastal gate is a good place to start sightseeing of old town.
Open: Wed-Sun 10-18
Tallinn’s Maritime Museum, establishes in 1935 and housed in the impressive bulk of Fat Margaret’s Tower, charts the influence the sea has had on Estonia life, as a source of employment, food, communication etc..
The exhibition includes nautical charts, paintings, very detailed models of ships and finds from the wrecks including some ships lost during World War II. The old diving suits and apparatus look so cumbersome yet flimsy compared to the power of the water in which they would be employed. Indeed the museum reflects well the respect that must be given to that capricious force of nature that is the sea.
Visiting the museum also allows you access to the roof of Fat Margaret’s Tower from which there are fantastic views towards, very fittingly, the port and sea in one direction and St. Olaf’s and the old town in the other.
To be honest I did find the museum a little dry at times, though that probably reflects my interest in the subject rather than the quality of the exhibits, and as not all the exhibits were labelled or had descriptions in English it was a little confusing however if you are interested in seafaring history then this museum is well worth the visit.
Now a maritime museum (closed Mon & Tues) displaying models of ships, artefacts from wrecks, fishing equipment etc...
It's a great building, with it's 6m thick walls, it is, as its name suggests "fat" and as you climb the stairs you can look out of the slits in these walls.
(free with your Tallinn card)
Fat Margaret was built as a cannon tower to protect city from enemies coming from the sea side. It was built on the 16th century, when the gate which was included in the city wall, was renovated. The tower where the gunpowder was stored and also it was used as a prison is 25 meters wide in the diameter and also has more than one hundren loopholes. Nowadays it houses Maritime museum where one can see different things from sea life, ship models and maps. From the top of tower you can catch good view to the city and sea.
At the end of Pikk Tanav (Pikk Street) stands the Great Coastal Gate and the wonderfully named Fat Margaret's Tower.
When the Great Coastal Gate and its fortifications were built in the early 14th Century Tallinn's harbour was just outside the city walls and the gate was one of the major access points through the walls of Tallinn and into the city. The cannon tower, 82 m (25 feet) in diameter and with 5m (17 feet) thick walls, was added in the early 16th Century to give the harbour area additional protection, its bulk earning it the nickname Fat Margaret.
The tower now house the Estonian Maritime Museum which, sadly, we didn’t get chance to visit.
Estonian Maritime Museum is open 10.00am-6.00pm Wed-Sun, closed Mon & Tue
Fat Margaret's Tower (next to The Great Coastal Gate) were built to defense Tallinn from attack from the sea. Fat Margaret was a canon tower with 155 loopholes. It got its name simply because it was the "fattest" tower in the city wall. It has also served as gun powder tower and prison and today houses the Estonian maritime Museum. From the roof of it you have lovely view over the Old Town.
Open: Wed-Sun 10-18
Closed on public holidays.
Price: 35 EEK, free with Tallinn Card
When the sea gate in Tallinn's walls was rebuilt in the 16th century a huge cannon tower was added - so round and solid it soon became known as Paks Margareta - Fat Margaret. Nowadays it houses the Eastonian Maritime Museum, giving an extra reason to visit. It's a wonderful building - massive from the outside and just as impressive once inside -the walls alone are 6m thick! A spiral staicase around a central column takes you up through six floors of exhibits of Estonia's naval and commercial shipping history and, although much information is in Estonian, there are more than enough models, old photographs and other sea-related artifacts to keep an old sea-dog happy. Access to the outside is possible and you can climb an outer staircase from one floor to another and on up to the roof, which gives great views over the city and to the sea beyond.
Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav) and Fat Margaret's Tower (Paks Margareeta) were built as a defense on the seaward side of the town, but also for impressing visitors coming in from the sea.
The Great Coastal Gate, built along with the city wall, is located on the northern side of the Old Town, near the harbour
An unusual, but friendly looking building, Fat Margaret Tower or Paks Margareeta, was actually built to bolster the fortifications of Tallinn which were thought to be too exposed and vulnerable. Built at the beginning of the 16th century, some say Fat Margaret's Tower got its name from being the stoutest tower in the city walls, while others say it came from a stocky cannon in the tower.
Fat Margaret's tower, located at Pikk 70, in the Great Coast Gate, has had many uses and gone through several restorations. It has served as a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons; was a prison from 1830 - 1917; and of late has been converted into the Estonian Maritime Museum or Meremuuseum. A great place for those who enjoy nautical history and exhibits, the tower offers a superb view from the roof, and in its courtyard you will see a white cross has been place in memory of the 852 people who perished when the ferry "Estonia" capsized on September 28, 1994. The ferry was enroute to Tallinn from Stockholm when the disaster occurred.
This museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am til 6:00pm daily (except on public holidays). The Meremuuseum appears to have a great little website but unfortunately it has no English translation!! Perhaps if you e-mail the caretakers at: firstname.lastname@example.org they will respond to you in your native language!