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Protection and Civil Defense

Civilian Emergency Services

Police Station or Police Command Facility

Tartu KGB Cells Museum

Tartu KGB Cells Museum

Full name of site:

KGB Kongide Muuseum Tartus- Tartu KGB Cells Museum


Riia 15, 51010 Tartu, Estland

Operational period:




Primary user:



The KGB Cells Museum is located in the infamous grey building on Riiamägi Hill that the KGB used as their base of operations in Tartu during the 1940s and 1950s. The basement here was used as a pre-trial detention centre for political detainees. Now, many years later, it is open to visitors.

Some of the cells (including those used for solitary confinement) and part of the corridor have been restored to their original appearance. The exhibition in its former jail cells provides an overview of World War II, the post-war anti-Soviet resistance in Estonia, the crimes committed by the communist regime and the conditions in the detention centre.

The idea of opening the museum came from members of a former underground student resistance group in Tartu called Blue-Black-White, who discovered upon visiting their former cells that the basement had been abandoned and that it would not be very difficult to restore the former look of the jail.

The museum was officially opened on 12 October 2001.


Owned and operated by Tartu City Museum

Valuation of authenticity and integrity:

Baseline 2001. In 2001 KGB Cells Museum was established in the building, Some of the cells and part of the corridor have been restored to their original appearance.

Status and access:

Access: Partial. Public access during opening hours using tickets

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