Past Exhibitions of Kalamaja Museum

EKA TASE exhibition  „Three Drops of Blood“ in Kalamaja Museum

EKA TASE exhibition „Three Drops of Blood“ in Kalamaja Museum

An old forgotten suitcase was found in the Estonian National Archives. It contained what seemed to be sketches and materials of an unfinished video game. The suitcase was given to retro video game enthusiasts Camille Laurelli and Rainer Peterson who figured out that it was indeed a game from the late 1980s.

“Estonian child models from old magazines" at the Kalamaja Children’s Museum

“Estonian child models from old magazines” at the Kalamaja Children’s Museum

The children in old magazine pictures were mostly posed and neatly combed. Among these images there a few everyday photographs but most of the children looking back at us are child models.

Exhibition of archaeological findings from Vana-Kalamaja Street on 19-23 April 2023

In the Kalamaja Museum, for one week, you could see the archaeological objects found at excavations during the reconstruction of Vana-Kalamaja Street. You could see the findings in the Kalamaja Museum (Kotzebue 16) from 19-23 April 2023.

On 19 and 22 April, Silver Jäger, Head of Archaeological Excavations at Muinasprojekt OÜ, presented the findings.

During the reconstruction of Vana-Kalamaja Street, archaeological excavations needed to be carried out in this archaeologically interesting area before starting the construction work.

Before taking the findings to the archaeology research collection of Tallinn University, some of them were displayed for viewing by local residents and those who are interested in the Kalamaja Museum for the short period from 19-23 April. In the museum, you can see medieval silver coins, early modern Swedish coins, pieces of pottery, etc. These findings will help archaeologists and historians tell the story of Kalamaja in the past.

Archaeological research took place during the reconstruction of Vana-Kalamaja Street in Tallinn. The work was commissioned by Tallinna Teede AS and the archaeological work was done by the team at Muinasprojekt OÜ. The research areas were located in the heritage protection area of the Tallinn Old Town, the 13th-16th century Kalamaja settlement and the downtown city fortifications. Research during the excavations took place on Kotzebue and Vana-Kalamaja streets and in the area between the Baltic Railway Station tramway and the trolley bus stop in the period from 31 August 2022-17 March 2023. Under archaeological supervision, research was carried out on Nunne Street, Kotzebue Street, Toompuiestee Avenue, Rannamäe Road, Kopli Street, Kalaranna Street and along the entire length of Vana-Kalamaja Street. What was found during the excavations is being cleaned, dated by experts and conserved.

Kalamaja Museum would like to thank for assistance: management and team of Muinasprojekt OÜ, Tallinn City Government, Tallinn Urban Planning Department, Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department, Kalamaja Museum, Tallinna teede AS, Viimsi keevitus AS, Orants OÜ, Tallinn University Archaeological Research Collection and local residents and enthusiasts, who came to talk with the archaeologists and were interested in the history.


“What does Kalamaja taste like?” at the Balti Jaam Market

From 1 February to 1 April, the exhibition “What Flavour Is Kalamaja?” organised by the Kalamaja community museum was open at the Balti Jaam Market.

On the display visitors could learn about the recipes loved by former and current Kalamaja residents that have been an important part of the Kalamaja flavours throughout the time they have lived here. Most of them are related to fond childhood memories and grandmothers cooking in the kitchen, but there are also some new Kalamaja recipes. At the exhibition, everyone had the opportunity to take recipes with them from the pockets of aprons with nostalgic patterns to make Kalamaja-flavoured dishes at home.

The exhibition was free of charge and located near the outdoor market. Open from 1 February to 1 April on Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun at 9am-5pm
In addition, from October 2022 to May 2023, the event series “Flavours of Kalamaja” takes place in the Kalamaja Museum’s homely kitchen once a month, where all those interested are invited to come and cook using timeless recipes under the guidance of local residents, spend nice time together and later enjoy the resulting dishes.

Where Even Sunrays Will Not Reach

“Even sunrays don’t reach this place“. This is how the photographer and photo journalist Hans Soosaar (1903–1961) described Jüri’s home who lived on Köie Street. As one of the first professional photo journalists in Estonia, Soosaar has been fortunate and unfortunate enough to capture life under various power regimes. His photos can be seen on the columns of Rahvaleht (The People’s Magazine), Noorte Hääl (the Young People’s Voice), the Revaler Zeitung, Rahva Hääl (the People’s Voice) and others. His photo lens has seen the colorful balls of the Estonia Theater, people executed at the Klooga Concentration Camp, but also the simple life in the residential areas during the first Republic of Estonia. At the end of the 1920s, Soosaar walked on the streets of Kalamaja and Põhja-Tallinn, and recorded the meeger living conditions of Tallinners. It is not known why this photographer, who was just at the beginning of his career, decided to photograph the homes of those with low-income and the unemployed. [1] . Although the press at the time chose to remain silent on issues that would cast a shadow on the image of the young republic, Soosaar fortunately did not follow this tactics of disregard.[2]

Hans Soosaar in front of Dick and Doff’s advertisement, 1939-1940 (TLM F 9825:8)

On the streets of Kalamaja people had the opportunity to see 10 photos of Soosaar’s apartment depictive photo series dating back to the 1920s. The photos came with detailed descriptions of the life of the inhabitants, the texts originating from the back of the photos. The pictures were placed in front of the same houses that Soosaar captured over 90 years ago. If the house has been demolished, the photo display was found as near as possible. Soosaar’s photos brought the inhabitants captured on the photos from their damp, dark apartments onto the streets filled with autumn light Soosaar’s photos, placed on the streets of their homes, brought people living in dreadful and humble conditions out of the shadows into the autumn light. Please take a moment from your day and HAVE A LOOK

Hans Soosaar (1903-1961) (TLM F 9825:3)

About the Exhibition

Curator Laura Jamsja

Consultants Kristi Paatsi, Aap Tepper, Tuuli Silber

Artist Lilian Juhkam

Photo sources: Estonian History Museum, Tallinn City Archives, Photo Museum

The exhibition was open from 4th of October up to 3rd of November 2019.

The exhibition was part of the Tallinn Photo Month ’19 satellite program.

Special thanks goes to: representatives of the Kalamaja Apartments Association, Sille Kima, Joel Leis, Indrek Hinrikus, Andres Lall, Sirje Pallo, Kadri Toomsalu, Tanel Verk, Anneli Jalava, Jaak Juske.


Kalamaja Museum’s Christmas calendar at Kotzebue 16
1.12.2022 – 6.01.2023

Kalamaja Museum’s Christmas calendar invites you to open the hatches and get an idea of how New Year’s Eve was anticipated and celebrated here in Northern Tallinn 60–100 years ago. Memorabilia, craft tips and recipes come from interviews conducted as part of the process of creating this community museum, and photos and objects from the personal photo albums and cupboards of current and former residents. We will also be introducing and communicating the activities of our great neighbours – local entrepreneurs.
The Museum’s Christmas calendar first delighted passers-by in December 2020, and now, with partly updated content, we are looking forward to welcoming you from the first of Advent in 2022 until Epiphany in 2023.
We hope these surprises behind the hatches will help you take a break from the fast pace of everyday life and bring a little joy of anticipating and celebrating Christmas into your life.

We wish you wonderful holidays with your loved ones!
Warm greetings from Kalamaja Museum
Kristi, Tuuli, Ene, Maibel, Ülle
The calendar was compiled by Tuuli Silber
Designed by Anneliis Aunapuu