Photo
Tiit Veermäe
Before After

Stable Tower

My name was given after the workshops of the city, which moved out here right under me when I was completed along with my neighbour, the Maiden Tower and the wall that connects us for the defence of the city.

It happened almost 650 years ago. The work yard was called marstall, which means a horse’s stall, although it was smiths’ shops that were here, where one could at first get iron for sled runners, then later weapons were made and later still all the bells and cannons for the city were cast here.

Be warned that my miniature and sweet appearance can be deceiving! During the Swedish time, in the 17th century, I was used as a prison. The “comforts” of my dungeon were not appreciated by the townspeople. It was very cold here and the prisoners were kept in chains so that they wouldn’t slip out and escape through the defensive openings. While the prisoners could admire the views from those openings onto Toompea and the proud young nobles on their horses, at night they were greeted with a much more chilling view: phantoms coming out of the walls of the cells.

The story is known from four centuries ago of a wretched young son of a Burgermeister, Hans von Gerten. His sin was that he had pledged himself in marriage during his infatu- ation with a maiden, but later, as his passions cooled, he did not keep his promise and the young lady’s honour was

wounded. Hans’ mother, who was permitted to visit her
son in his cell, fainted dead away when he recounted his experiences. In any case, since others were complaining of the same things, there was actually a discussion in the city council about whether to close the prison. That is why I am considered to be the oldest haunted tower in Tallinn. It’s said that all of us neighbouring towers here are in general the mightiest stronghold of restless spirits in the whole city! Immediately to my left (when looking from the city) the first breakthrough was made in this section of the wall. It was closed up half a century ago, but the lighter-coloured stone in the arched niche can still be recognised today. After it was closed, a larger opening was made that would allow fire trucks through.

Construction history. Erected in the 1370s, this console or saddle tower was originally 9 metres high. In the mid-15th centu- ry, the tower gained a stairway on the city-facing side along with a half-round upper portion the faced away from the city and its height was already 13 metres. The tower had two defensive floors, the lower of which was open-backed and had a fireplace in the northwest corner. The lower floor’s defensive openings had uniquely slanted floors. The tower’s upper floor was a platform with the traditional sort of openings.