I was probably the first four-story pe- rimeter wall tower in the lower city. I was named after the city council master Winant Louenschede, who directed the construction of the defensive structures on this section of the wall.
When I was completed in 1373, I was 15.5 m
high, including my base. The tower could be
accessed by the city’s defensive passage, which
has been preserved as a niche in the second storey.
I grew by another floor and by volume by the middle of the 15th century so that I was again the tallest and largest tower in the city. I was already called the Big Tower! But then Kiek in de Kök, the city’s first heavy cannon tower was built and surpassed the height and diameter of all the other towers.
At the end of the 18th century, when the need for my defensive capabilities diminished (like all my other colleagues), I began to be refurbished as living quarters. By the end of the 19th century, my residents included, for instance, the master fire-fighters of Reval, Barth and Wagner, and later many other significant city figures. About a half-century ago, the constant renovations to my interior began to compromise my structural integrity, so the restorers installed support posts to hold up my floors and used reinforced concrete for my interior walls. The original dimensions of my floors were restored, as well as the machicolation system.
In the 80’s I was adapted for the use of the Estonian Architecture Museum that was being created, and it was presented here in the mid-’90s. Today, ceramics workers have been active here for years, and a spiral staircase has been built for their use, as well as re-opening the entrance from Towers’ Square.
Construction history. Initial construction was completed in 1370-1373, reconstructed in 1455.