Estonian Maritime Museum Foundation | Towering Tales of the Sea

Urmas Dresen

Director, Estonian Maritime Museum

Estonian Maritime Museum

Vesilennuki 1, Tallinn 10415 Estonia

Heritage in Motion Best Achievement Award 2020



Rebuilding the Story of Estonian Seafaring



In 2018-2019 the Estonian Maritime Museum renovated the 40 year old museum in the medieval cannon tower Fat Margaret – part of the Old Town of Tallinn, listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

The right cause for the renovation and creation of the new permanent exhibition came to us in 2015, when a medieval shipwreck was discovered unexpectedly at a construction site in Tallinn. It took the best possible expertise to preserve the unique wreck of a cog-type ship. We used creativity and innovative solutions to tell the story of shipbuilding, trade, and the life of seamen throughout the times of sailing-, steam- and motor ships, in a cannon tower with some siding space. Our goal was to unite modern technologies with traditional museum approaches.

by Hendrik Osula


We ended up with more than 30 digital solutions, all very different in character – whilst some use big real-time data, others are more hands-on and experiential, and some are based on a vast amount of historic research. Massive screens, for instance, give the perspective of the size of the cog. Some solutions help to relate the events in Estonian history with the ones elsewhere at the same time; others are vital to facilitate accessibility.


by Hendrik Osula


The jury of the Heritage in Motion Award found our approach to be ambitious and multifaceted by combining various technologies dynamically, thereby continuously engaging and surprising visitors. As a matter of fact, surprising visitors is exactly what we aimed for, will continuously aim for, and encourage other museums to do.




Browse by year

Browse by category

Browse by country

View all