Kiek in de Kök

Tower in Old Town

This tall, stout 15th-century cannon tower was one of Tallinn’s most formidable defences. Its name (amusing as it sounds in English) is Low German for ‘peep into the kitchen’ – from the tower's upper floors, medieval voyeurs could peep (kiek) through the wide chimneys of the lower town houses into their kitchens (kök). Today it houses a branch of the City Museum, focusing mainly on the development of the town’s elaborate defences.

The tower was badly damaged during the Livonian War, but it never collapsed (nine of Ivan the Terrible’s cannonballs remain embedded in the walls). If you’re interested in military paraphernalia, you’ll find a treasure trove on the upper floors. There are great views from the cafe on the top floor, which also boasts a bizarre oversized cannonball timepiece, suspended from the ceiling.


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