Tallinn, Estonia

Kiek in de Kök

Forrest Mallard

The six-storied cannon tower with 57 embrasures was the most powerful on the Baltic shores. Its Low German name means “Peep into the Kitchen” and was given because it was possible to look down from it into the kitchens through open chimneys.

Location

Komandandi tee 2
Kesklinna linnaosa
Tallinn, Estonia

Open Hours
Jun-Aug -- Mon-Sun 10:00-17:30
Sep-May -- Tue-Sun 10:30-17.30

Museum Entry Fee
Ticket - 6.00€
Child ticket - 4.00€
Family ticket - 12.00€
Free with Tallinn Card

T: (+372) 644 6686
E: kok@linnamuuseum.ee

Website

linnamuuseum.ee

Directions

59.434703, 24.741271

Kiek in de Kök

Kiek in de Kök Tallinn Estonia Walking Tour

Peep in the Kitchen

In the Middle Ages, the tower had no roof and the chimneys were somewhat wider than they are today, So he could see what his wife was cooking for dinner. And not only that: he was witness to many things that went on in the kitchens in the lower town. It is well known that the kitchen is the heart of a house: that is where the residents carry on their most intimate conversations and the serving people gossip. So the tower watchman was in the picture about everything that went wrong in the town, but he still had to keep his knowledge secret.

Damage to Kiek in de Kök in 1577

During a Russian siege in 1577 in the Livonian War, the tower was badly damaged but survived. In commemoration of that event, several large stone cannon balls were walled into its southern face. The big stone cannon balls that can be seen today in the thick walls of Kiek in de Kök were shot by the besieging force of Ivan IV (the Terrible) near what is now the Pärnu Road. Balthasar Russow, a chronicler of the time, wrote that the hole in the tower wall was so big that two yoked oxen pulling a cart could have gone through it.

Before the Great Northern War, the tower was further fortified. The two lower stories were hidden behind an earthen bastion so that the real height of the tower (45 meters) can only be seen from the side of the Lower Town.

Kiek in de Kök – Photography Museum

Kiek in de Kök Tallinn Estonia Museum 1

After being long used as a storeroom, Kiek in de Kök was converted into a museum in the 1960s. The entrance is from the bastion on Level Three. Concerts and photo exhibitions have also been held in the tower. The museum, located in the cannon tower and bastion passages, introduces the genesis of Tallinn, its development, as well as the most important war events from the 13th to the 18th century. In the arms room, you can explore historical weapons and try out a shooting simulator.

Great Views of Tallinn

While at the museum, be sure to pay a visit to the top floor café where you can get some beautiful Old Town views. The tower offers unique views of the city and port.

From there, you can visit the passages in the city wall, Neitsitorn Tower, Tallitorn Tower, the gate tower of Lühike Jalg, and the bastion passages.

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By Forrest Mallard

By Forrest Mallard

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