Boundaries between real life and exhibits blur at Vabamu

Text: Brenda Roosimaa, Nordica | Vabamu Photos: Patrik Tamm Published: 31 / July / 2018 compress image 32

A new museum of contemporary history has opened in Tallinn that is sure to leave no one cold. Vabamu, a.k.a. the Museum of Occupations and Freedom, opened its doors in mid-July with a brand new permanent exhibition that helps people give meaning to the freedoms they enjoy and how they can be preserved and defended. The museum depicts the journey from occupations to freedom. The new exhibition is made up of five parts: crimes against humanity; Estonians in the free world; life in Soviet Estonia; restoration of independence; and freedom.

Visitors can explore the museum with an e-guide, making the journey even more interesting.

Five reasons to visit Vabamu:

#1 The innovative new exhibition is accompanied by a smart device whose e-guide is voiced by a famous Estonian actor. The entire journey through Estonia’s recent history can be taken in Estonian, English, Russian, German, French, Finnish or Spanish.


Explore the museum with your unique e-guide



#2 There are three floors in the museum, comprising the new permanent exhibition and interactive displays. Take a look at a Soviet kitchen, a refugees’ boat or create your own apartment wearing a virtual reality headset.


Experience something truly new: create your own Soviet-era apartment wearing a VR headset



#3 The museum has been designed to provide the whole family (including its youngest members) with an educational experience and food for thought.


Balance between people walking towards each other



#4 Discover what freedom means to different people in Estonia, and consider the point yourself as you pass through a railway carriage of the kind used to deport innocent people to Siberia.


An authentic railway carriage used to deport people built especially for the exhibition



#5 This historical journey covers 1120 square metres and has something for everyone.


Everyone can find out for themselves what it was like to sleep on a straw-filled bed





“The new exhibition at Vabamu is a fantastic gift to Estonia on its 100th anniversary, because it tells visitors a story about the importance of freedom and helps them understand how vital it is that we hold onto that and defend it.” – Minister of Culture Indrek Saar


There are screens on every floor where people tell their stories and share their memories


Toompea 8, Tallinn | +372 668 0250 | Mon–Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. |