Attractions & museums

    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. 

    In 1941, Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (ESSR) Commissariat for Internal Affairs established the prison cells in the cellar of the building at Pagari 1.

    In the basement, suspected enemies of the state were imprisoned and interrogated before they were either shot or sent to labor camps in Siberia. 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.

    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.

    From July 3 to August 8, 2019 regular tours take place every Wednesday at 14. The tours are in English. 

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    TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

    TripAdvisor logo tripadvisor rating 4.0 of 5

    based on 174 reviews

    • Very small but interesting

      tripadvisor rating 4 of 5
      April 5, 2022 By Nic N

      This is a really small but informative museum on the site of the old KGB prison cells in Tallinn Old Town. A good way to spend 30 mins or so. When we visited, there was another patron, a young guy... Read more comments

    • The horror dungeon of Tallinn

      tripadvisor rating 3 of 5
      January 28, 2020 By Mikael F

      The former KGB headquarters in Tallinn lies in the Old Town in a building built in 1912. The prison cells in the basement have remained a symbol of the former Soviet oppression in Estonia. Suspected... Read more comments

    • A reminder of mans inhumanity to his fellow man

      tripadvisor rating 4 of 5
      January 26, 2020 By Simonwheeler186220

      The title sums it up. A small museum but if you are interested in modern history then well recommended. Sadly we’ve already visited Auschwitz and after attempting to try to take in the sheer scale of... Read more comments