Kiek in de Kök

Old Town

This stout, five-storey cannon tower was one of Tallinn’s most formidable defences when built in the 15th century. Its name (amusing to English ears) is Low German for ‘peep into the kitchen’ – from its heights, voyeurs could reputedly peep (kiek) through the wide chimneys of the 15th-century lower town houses into their kitchens (kök). Today it's a branch of the City Museum, focusing mainly on Tallinn's military history and defences, antique arms and armour, and temporary exhibitions.

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.

Tickets to Kiek in de Kök include admission to the adjacent Maiden, Stable and Gate towers. Consider buying a 'Whole-Museum Ticket', admitting you to all these, plus the tunnels running under the Swedish bastions, (adult/reduced €14/8).

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