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Report - - Patarei Prison - Estonia - August 2013 | European and International Sites |

Report - Patarei Prison - Estonia - August 2013

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This was technically a permission visit, but it was the most UE-like permission visit I've ever been on - you turned up, gave the gatekeeper €2 in return for a bad head torch, and off you went to explore where you wanted. The whole place seemed pretty much unchanged from when it stopped being a prison in the 90s, when Soviet occupation ended (I think). Some places were closed for future renovation (not really sure why considering the condition of the rest of it) but it was a massive site with loads to see anyway. You'd never get this with all the supposed concern for health and safety in the UK!

Little bit of history stolen from

In 1828 Nicholas I of Russia mandated the building of the sea fortress of Patarei. Completed in 1840, it is located on area of 4 hectares (10 acres). Over the years it has had different functions – in 1867 functioning as barracks, in 1920 as a prison and since 2007 as a Culture Park.

While we were there we ended up talking to a guy who was actually an inmate there not so long ago, he pointed out his cell to us - was pretty cool!

Second set of gates: (the first were solid metal)

Cell corridor - some parts seemed like they'd remained the same from when it was a barracks, some parts had been made more prison-like.

Cell - the cells varied greatly in size and quality. Lots of them still had posters and furniture in situ.

Guard tower overlooking the exercise cells:

Operating chair - the hospital was the most well-preserved section of the whole complex.


I also found this building outside the prison, but I didn't have a torch with me so I didn't venture inside. It just had the vents round the outside and the ladder to a tunnel inside - nearby was also a small round shaft with a ladder leading straight down. Any ideas?



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