Maritime museum with a former Soviet sub you can go into.

Quick Info

  • Location: EVesilennuki 6, 10145 Tallinn, Estonia
  • Hours: 10am – 7pm
  • Cost: $22 USD (2023)
  • Length of visit: ~2-3hours
  • Resources:
Originally built in 1916 by Peter the Great as a seaplane fortress, it was the largest unsupported concrete structure in the world. Each concrete dome is 36m X 36m with concrete 15cm thick. It could easily house an airplane with a 30m wide wingspan.
When Estonia declared independence in the 90’s, the hangers fell into disrepair. There were also disputes about ownership of the hangers. In 2006, Estonia took possession of the hanger and started repairing the structure. In all, they had to repair nearly 4Km worth of cracks found in the thick concrete domes. They also repaired all the piping that used sea water to heat the hanger.
Now that the giant concrete hanger has been repaired, it is home to the Lannusadam Maritime Museum.
The museum has a wide variety of interesting artifacts including a wide selection of ocean buoys, old sailboats and even soviet tanks….
And guns too. Although that is interesting, it isn’t why we are here.
The star attraction is the Lembit Submarine that you can go inside and explore. Better check this out!
You can climb on top of the submarine and walk around. There are hatches that lead down into the submarine and are also used for deploying mines.
But first, business to take care of. This seems like the high point to me.
Starting at the front, the sub can launch up to 4 torpedoes at once. In addition the sub has the ability to launch 20 mines from hatches above. During the Lembit’s service, it sank 7 boats, all flying the German Nazi flag. Note the beds right beside the torpedo tubes. This sub had a crew of 32 and space is very limited.
Having a crew of 32 means you need a place to cook.
There were two toilets for the entire submarine.
Near the back is the steering and throttle. And of course, the periscope. This sub was launched in 1936 and remained in the water until it was brought ashore by the Estonians in 2011. It was the oldest submarine in the world that was still afloat until it was brought on to land.
Closer look at the periscope. When this sub was built in 1936 it was considered one of the most technically advanced at the time. It has never had a major retrofit so the way it stands today is nearly the same as it was 90 years ago.
Does anybody know what this says? The top speed of the sub was 8.5 knots (~15KM/H) and could dive up to 90 meters below sea level.
Near the back of the submarine is the engine room. The sub has two engines that each produce about 1200HP. I wonder if we can squeeze one of those engines in to the VW we rented for a bit more pep.
One last look at the outside of the sub before leaving. The two people standing nearby give you a sense of scale. The sub is just under 60 meters long and 7.5 meters wide. The museum projects drawings on the side of the sub to give you an idea of how the internal components are positioned.


Teditor · September 3, 2023 at 10:29 pm

This is really cool, I have never been on a submarine!

Phil · September 5, 2023 at 12:39 am

Excellent post Shawn – very interesting. I think the high point was directly behind you though, you’ll have to go back next spring and make amends.

    Shawn · September 21, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    I think you might be right. I’d gladly go back to Estonia. Road trip!!!

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