Lennusadam

Seaplane Harbor: Tallinn Maritime Museum

Seaplane Harbor is one of those museums that is definitely worth a visit if you are in Tallinn. This advice is applicable to absolutely everyone: it will be interesting for both children and adults of any age and gender. Our latest visit to this museum we paid in March reassured us about it again.

Information about the museum

The Seaplane Harbor Museum is a part of the Maritime Museum. It is located in Vesilennuki, 6. You can get here by bus No. 73, by City Tour bus or by walking from the Old City. The exhibition consists of two parts: inside exhibition and the ships, which are placed outside. Depending on whether you want to see only one or both, the ticket price will be different: 6 or 15 euros. More information can be found at the official website: http://meremuuseum.ee/lennusadam/en/
Information about the museum

The museum history

From 1918 to 1940, in the hangars of Seaplane Harbor, the seaplane military unit, defense headquarters, and the flight school were located. After that, until 1991, it was a closed Soviet military facility.
Seaplane Harbor

This March, we had our fourth visit to the museum. Back in 2009, when we visited this museum for the first time, it was still an underdeveloped project with not too much to see there. There were only a few ships outside, including the famous Lembit submarine.
Seaplane Harbor

It was a snowy dark December evening when we got there, and the only other human in the museum was a bored employee. We took audio guides and tried to crawl on icy ships decks.
Seaplane Harbor

Now, everything has changed. The hangars were insulated and put in order, making this place warm and cozy. In addition, the submarine was moved inside, various simulators and modern staff were added, and temporary expositions change constantly.

Exhibition inside the hangars

At the very beginning, you have the opportunity to see the old boats of the first settlers, learn the history of sailing, walk around buoys, etc.
old boats of the first settlers

At this point, some visitors may wonder: why have I even come here? Some of our guests were bored as well, but they changed the opinion very soon, when we got to the first interactive activity: a coast guard simulator.
coast guard simulator

coast guard simulator

After the simulator, we shifted to the real coastal and antiaircraft guns.
antiaircraft guns

As in all technical museums, near each exhibit, there is an information plate with the description in three languages. For example, the antiaircraft gun “70K” we liked so much (in the first photo) was built in 1938. The shot distance is 4000 meters with the speed of 150 shots per minute. There are also multimedia screens with additional information.
Seaplane-harbor

You can touch and twist things or pay attention to the details.
antiaircraft gun

antiaircraft gun

antiaircraft gun

In addition to antiaircraft guns, there is a huge collection of naval mines – the weapon dangerous for ships. You can learn their basic types and principles of work. Once, we have written about our visit to the abandoned ship demagnetization base in northeastern Estonia. Thus, it was possible to protect ships from mines with magnetic or induction fuses.
naval mines

Two temporary exhibitions were held in the museum building at the time of our visit. One of them, “Sex and the Sea” was bold both in its name and content. Here, it is possible to watch videos from harbor brothels all over the world, listen to personal stories of seamen and their mistresses, browse through the belongings of seamen, and learn about venereal diseases they used to get.
Sex and the Sea

Sex and the Sea

Lembit submarine

The main exhibit of the museum is the Lembit submarine. In 1936, it was manufactured in England, and arrived to Estonia in 1937. During the World War II, the submarine took an active part in the hostilities and successfully torpedoed the enemy vessels thrice. The second ordered submarine of the same type – “Kalev” disappeared, still, nobody knows where.
Lembit submarine

The general plan and characteristics of the Lembit submarine:
Lembit submarine

The most interesting thing is that you can go down inside Lembit and see how the crew lived and how the boat is arranged.
Lembit submarine

Torpedo compartment:
Torpedo compartment

No comments 🙂
kitchen

WC

Crew cabin:
Crew cabin

Submarine control, dive and ascent system:
Submarine control, dive and ascent system

Engine room with two diesels for surface sailing and two electric motors for motion under water. Lembit could stay at sea for a maximum of 28 days and one day under water. However, batteries could last only for few hours in case of the maximum speed.
submarine engine

Again, you can spend plenty of time here observing details.
Lembit submarine

Lembit submarine

You can also find 3D tour via the link >>>

Interactive things

In the museum, you can put 3D glasses on and discover how the Seaplane Harbor was reconstructed. You can also understand the basics of submarine diving:
basics of submarine diving

In addition to the coast guard simulator, you can try to drive a motorboat or become a plane’s pilot. To be honest, it was much easier in the Swedish Aviation Museum 🙂
plane smulator

Trying different uniforms with subsequent pictures was a cherry on the pie.
old Estonian Navi uniform

You can take pictures yourself, or special photo machine may take a group photo with a pre-selected background, and send it to you by mail. The quality, of course, is slightly worse, but a lot of fun during the photo session is guaranteed.
old Estonian Navi uniform

Outside exhibition

If you are not tired from visiting of the main part, behind the hangar, there is an exhibition of various ships. You can climb on some of them and look inside the Suur Tõll icebreaker ship.

This is the oldest museum ship in Estonia and one of the three surviving Baltic steam icebreakers from the early 20th century.
Suur Tõll

During our last visit, we spent 3 hours inside the hangars, so we did not have enough time for the second part. Nevertheless, at our previous visit, Victor had already had the opportunity to walk inside Suur Tõll, and, believe us, it is also very interesting in there.
On board the icebreaker, you can visit the officers’ room and the captain’s cabin, the crew’s rooms, an exhibition on the history of the icebreaker, the engine and boiler room, and many more authentic and interesting exhibits!
Suur Tõll

Suur Tõll