Photo
Tiit Veermäe
Before After

Tower Behind Monks

I was named for my location – I stand right behind one of the city’s most important institutions, the St. Catherine’s Dominican Monastery.

The black monks, preaching brothers, or dogs of God, as they were called, were important to the people of the city – they could speak Estonian and taught the common people and were otherwise very industrious. The built a huge complex which included monastery rooms and a large church. But the arrival of the Protestant Reformation made their situation untenable; they had to leave, and their sanctuary was burned.

I’ve been set aflame several times as well. I was on fire dur- ing the great fire of 1433, so I know what I’m talking about. Even as recently as 25 years ago, I was in a pretty pickle with a “red cap”. During the Swedish time, in the 17th century, I was popularly called “Fuse Tower” (Lunten Thurm), since I was used as an ammunition dump until the end of the 18th century.

I was privatised at the beginning of the 19th century, as hap- pened with many other towers. Living quarters and storage rooms were built here. I was restored between 1970 and 1980 and a café was opened. After the fire in 1993, I stood vacant for a long time and the subject of my ownership was disputed. Now I’ve been made ship-shape once again.

Construction history. Initial construction completed in 1355, reconstructed in 1437. Six storeys, height 21.7 m.