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Address: Riia 15b, Tartu 51010, Estonia
Phone Number:
+372 5817 0587
11:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Tue - Sat 11:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Museum of KGB Cells is situated in the "gray house" which in...

The Museum of KGB Cells is situated in the "gray house" which in the 1940s-1950s housed the NKVD/KGB. The basement floor, where a remand prison for political prisoners was situated, is open for visitors. Part of the cells, lock-ups and the corridor in the basement have been restored in their former shape. Other former cells house an exposition, which gives an overview of the history of the Estonian Resistance Movement, the crimes of the communist regime and life in a remand prison. In the exhibition you can find plans drawn by the Soviet authorities for conducting deportations, leaflets distributed by the schoolchildren's underground organizations, objects from the GULAG prison camps, information about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's connection to Estonia, as well as a great number of other photos and documents illustrating Estonian contemporary history. In Estonia the total number of people who fell victims to different repressions from the security organs amounted to approximately 122,000 and more than 30,000 of them lost their life.

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Well worth dropping in if your in Tartu.

Difficult to find (tip: its in the basement). Plenty of information in English, paints a clear story. Pity that it doesn't say more about the fall of the USSR and how the KGB... read more

Reviewed 20 February 2017
Rachel W
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46 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 33: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 20 February 2017

Difficult to find (tip: its in the basement). Plenty of information in English, paints a clear story. Pity that it doesn't say more about the fall of the USSR and how the KGB left. Could do without the constant audio of a woman screaming and the gunshots. The stories are impressive enough....

Thank Rachel W
Tallinn, Estonia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2017

Really interesting overview of a very important part of Estonian history. Exhibits are really informative.

Thank Kristina236
Boliden, Sweden
Level Contributor
1,024 reviews
811 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2016

One of the key points in Tartu. However, if you are visiting the Baltics, you will find KGB's Museums everywhere. Not sure which one is the best (maybe Vilnius). The site is well hidden, but if you use the google address, you will find it. It is a small museum, with the complete story on KGB, even before it was... More 

1 Thank Ana L
Newcastle UK
Level Contributor
118 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2016

This chilling museum is situated in the basement of the old KGB HQ in a nondescript grey building on Pepleri St. Although small, I learnt a lot about how Estonians suffered under the Soviet regime. There are cards in various languages including English to provide context and explanations for the various exhibits. Well worth a visit.

Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2016

The museum is quite small and very little of the texts are in English but the exhibitions are displayed very well. I also found the museum a little hard to find and its location on Google Maps is wrong.

Thank Blythfire1234
Pasco, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2016

It is not a large museum, but if you take in everything it will give you a decent idea of the horrors the prisoners here endured. The things that stick out most in my mind were the solitary confinement cells and the interrogation chair. But definitely read all the material (and there is quite a bit in English) to get... More 

Thank psjohnson74
Brno, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
155 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2016

It's a small museum, and even if you read all the displayed information (which I did) and look at everything in detail, you'll probably finish within an hour or two. Yet, the history (both national and individual) revealed in this museum is utterly devastating to contemplate. It's a deep and very memorable experience. I'd recommend it definitely for anyone interested... More 

Thank Beatrix T
Laura R, Public Relations Manager at KGB Cells Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for writing the review! We appreciate it. You are always welcome back! More 

Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2016

First of all, it was a bit tricky to find. We were expecting to see a bigger sign. One inside, we liked the museum well. I wish it were a bit bigger, the tour was over too soon. An interestin topic, and we certainly recommend it.

Thank bandsandkids
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2016 via mobile

this is a great way to learn about the occupations of Estonia. It has sound effects and can be surprising but definitely worth a visit. Not too far away from the old town at all so should be included in your tour of Tartu.

Thank sage w
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
40 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2015

If you like cold-war history, etc., this is great. It has a lot of artifacts and information in different languages. Allow about an hour and look for the sunflower monument behind the building. Maybe boring for kids but nothing graphic.

Thank Al B
Laura R, Public Relations Manager at KGB Cells Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for a great positive review! More 

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