Exploring the Maritime Museum: A Guide to the Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn, Estonia
Imagine exploring a century-old icebreaker, climbing aboard a WWII-era submarine, and experiencing immersive simulators all in one place! The Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn, Estonia, offers the whole family a unique and unforgettable experience. In this post, I'll guide you through the fascinating history, engaging exhibits, and family-friendly activities that make this maritime museum a must-visit destination.
Discovering Lennusadam - the Seaplane Harbour experiences
Nestled in the heart of Tallinn, Estonia, the Seaplane Harbour is an exciting maritime museum that promises a fun-filled day for the whole family. Boasting a rich history and unique architecture, this museum offers an array of attractions that will keep children and adults engaged and entertained. From the awe-inspiring submarine Lembit to the century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, every corner of the museum invites you to explore and immerse yourself in Estonia's fascinating maritime past.
Located near the vibrant Kalamaja District and the historic Patarei Sea Fortress, the Seaplane Harbour is the perfect destination for a summer visit, especially for a family trip or even your first family trip. Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a fun day out with the kids, this captivating museum has something for everyone.
A Brief History of the Seaplane Harbour
The Seaplane Harbour was constructed in 1917 as part of the remarkable Peter the Great's naval fortress, making it an ideal destination for a family vacation. Commissioned by the Russian Empire, this impressive engineering feat displayed the empire's might and its naval ambitions. The renowned Danish engineering and construction company Christiani & Nielsen designed the hangars, adding to the museum's architectural significance.
Over the years, the Seaplane Harbour has transformed from a naval fortress into a modern maritime museum, offering a unique experience compared to traditional theme parks. Today, visitors can explore the museum's rich history and marvel at the innovative engineering that has stood the test of time.
The Unique Architecture of the Seaplane Harbour
One of the most striking features of the Seaplane Harbour is its impressive concrete hangar and creative design elements. The museum comprises three remarkable reinforced concrete shells and pillars, believed to be the world's pioneering large-scale reinforced concrete shell structure. This architectural marvel showcases the ingenuity of its designers and serves as a testament to the durability of the materials used in its construction.
As you explore the museum, you'll be captivated by the innovative design elements that make the Seaplane Harbour stand out from traditional museums. From the massive concrete hangar to the intricate details of the exhibits, the museum's architecture will leave a lasting impression on every visitor.
Unforgettable Exhibits and Attractions
The Seaplane Harbour offers a wealth of unique exhibits and attractions for visitors of all ages. As you enter the museum, you'll be transported back in time as you explore historic vessels, interactive displays, and immersive simulators that bring Estonia's maritime history to life. The museum's collection includes the iconic submarine Lembit, the century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, and numerous other naval artifacts that tell the story of Estonia's seafaring past.
As you journey through the museum, you'll have the opportunity to engage with hands-on exhibits that offer a truly immersive experience. From flight and submarine simulators to virtual reality experiences and thrill rides, the Seaplane Harbour provides a unique blend of education and entertainment that will leave you lasting memories.
One of the museum's most fascinating exhibits is the Submarine Lembit, an incredible submarine built by the British for the Republic of Estonia before the Second World War. This well-preserved vessel offers a rare glimpse into the lives of submariners during the war and the remarkable engineering feats of the time. As you step aboard the Lembit, you can't help but feel a sense of awe at the ingenuity and bravery of those who once called this submarine home.
The Submarine Lembit:
Commissioned in 1937
Served in the Estonian Navy during the Second World War
The only Estonian submarine to ever fire its torpedoes
Stands as a tribute to the heroic and courageous Estonian Navy during the war
Visitors can explore the interior of this remarkable vessel and gain an insight into its fascinating history
A must-see attraction during your visit to the Seaplane Harbour.
Century-Old Icebreaker Suur Tõll
Another highlight of the Seaplane Harbour is the century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, a massive ship with a fascinating history and impressive engineering. Built in 1914 for the Imperial Russian Navy, the Suur Tõll was used to break the ice in the Gulf of Finland and later served in the Estonian Navy until the Second World War. Today, this incredible vessel is proudly displayed at the museum, offering an engaging experience for the whole family.
As you wander through the ship, you'll marvel at its powerful steam engines and reinforced hull, designed to brave even the thickest ice. The Suur Tõll's bow thruster also helps it deftly maneuver in tight spaces, showcasing the engineering prowess of its creators. Exploring this historic vessel, you'll be amazed at the ingenuity and skill required to build and operate such a massive ship over a century ago.
Interactive Displays and Simulators
The Seaplane Harbour offers a hands-on learning experience through its interactive displays and simulators. These immersive exhibits bring Estonia's maritime history to life, allowing visitors of all ages to engage with the stories and artifacts actively. From multimedia features that detail the development of robotic systems for underwater archaeological research to flight and submarine simulators, these interactive experiences provide a captivating and educational adventure for everyone.
In addition to the displays and simulators, the museum also features two cinemas and numerous other interactive exhibits that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a technology lover, or simply looking for a fun-filled day with the family, the Seaplane Harbour has something for everyone.
The Seaplane Harbour is a great family destination, offering various activities and exhibits catering to children of all ages. In addition to the museum's immersive displays and simulators, the Seaplane Harbour also features:
A dedicated children's corner with drawing equipment and building blocks
This creative space encourages young visitors to explore the maritime world and learn through play
Making it an ideal spot for a family trip.
Beyond the museum's exhibits, the Seaplane Harbour also hosts a variety of themed workshops and events that provide unique learning experiences for children and adults alike. These engaging programs delve into the fascinating world of maritime history and culture, offering a memorable and educational experience for the whole family.
Children's Maritime Playground
The Children's Maritime Playground is located within the museum and offers an exciting and educational play area for young visitors. This engaging space features a range of interactive exhibits and activities designed to spark children's curiosity and encourage them to learn more about the maritime world.
From hands-on exhibits that teach the basics of navigation to a miniature recreation of the Bay of Tallinn, the Children's Maritime Playground provides a fun and stimulating environment for kids to explore and discover. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder the Seaplane Harbour is a popular destination for family vacations.
Themed Workshops and Events
The Seaplane Harbour offers a diverse range of themed workshops and events throughout the year, providing unique learning experiences for visitors of all ages. From maritime history lectures to interactive activities that showcase the development of underwater robotic systems, these workshops and events cater to a wide range of interests and offer a captivating experience for everyone.
Whether you're a history buff, a technology enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and educational day out with the family, Seaplane Harbour's themed workshops and events will surely provide an unforgettable experience. Keep an eye on the museum's website for information on upcoming workshops and circumstances, and be sure to mark your calendar for these exciting opportunities.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
While the Seaplane Harbour is undoubtedly a must-visit destination in Tallinn, the surrounding area offers unique attractions and experiences. Just a short walk or bike ride from the museum, you'll find the historic Patarei Sea Fortress and the vibrant Kalamaja District, both of which are well worth exploring during your visit.
Whether you're interested in delving into Estonia's past at the Patarei Sea Fortress or soaking up the atmosphere in the trendy Kalamaja District, there's plenty to see and do in the Seaplane Harbor area.
Patarei Sea Fortress and Prison
Just a stone's throw from the Seaplane Harbour, the Patarei Sea Fortress and Prison is a haunting reminder of Estonia's past. Constructed in 1840 as a sea fortress, the site was later converted into a prison and remained in use until 2002. Today, the fortress and prison have been transformed into a museum, offering visitors a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those who were once imprisoned there.
Guided tours are available, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the site's history and role in shaping Estonia's past. Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply curious about this intriguing site, visiting the Patarei Sea Fortress and Prison is a memorable and thought-provoking experience.
Beyond the walls of the Seaplane Harbour, the Kalamaja District awaits with its colorful wooden houses, hip cafes, and lively cultural scene. Once the town's main fishing harbor, Kalamaja has transformed into a trendy neighborhood known for its distinctive architecture, art galleries, and creative community.
As you wander through the district's charming streets, stop by the Telliskivi Creative City, a hub for artists, designers, and innovators. With its vibrant atmosphere and eclectic mix of attractions, the Kalamaja District is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the local culture after exploring the Seaplane Harbour.
How to Get There
Reaching the Seaplane Harbour is easy, regardless of your preferred mode of transportation. If you're traveling by public transport, bus number 73 operates year-round in Tallinn and runs every 19 minutes between 5:55 and 23:30, making it convenient for getting to the museum.
What is the entrance fee for the Seaplane Harbour?
With a range of ticket prices, Seaplane Harbour is an accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone. Adults enter for €14, while seniors over 65 pay only €11.