The former seaplane harbor is home to several museum ships, including the steamer icebreaker Suur Tõll and the submarine Lembit. The distinctive seaplane hangar, the renovation of which was completed in 2012, became the home of the Estonian Maritime Museum and now shelters the Lembit.
The former seaplane hangar, built in 1916-1917, was the first reinforced concrete shell structure of such size (109m by 36m). It is big enough to house the submarine Lembit, which is the center piece of the museum.
The steamer icebreaker Suur Tõll was built in 1914 in Stettin (present day Szczecin) and is the only remaining pre-war steamer in the Baltics. When I visited the ship it had just taken part in a movie about the life of Georg Ots, a famous Estonian opera singer. The Suur Tõll acted the part of a Russian hospital ship called the Siberia.
Back in 2006 the seaplane hangar was in a rather different shape.
Before moving into the renovated seaplane hangar, parts of the maritime museum were scattered around in other places, such as the Mine Museum, which was located in the former gunpowder depot.
Copyright Otto de Voogd 2006 & 2012