Tiit Veermäe
Before After

The Hellemann Tower


I am the younger of the neighbouring towers – the Tower Behind the Monks and the one time grand Viru Gate complex, of which only a couple of foregate towers remain, these are at least a half a century older.

The very first written records of me named me as the Holleman Tower, but thereafter as the Helleman Tower. There was a unique base room, without an entrance, beneath my three floors – probably built to deter humidity. The poor surface and weak foundation caused me – and the wall beside me – to sag by a metre, over time. In the 1960s I received supports – even now you can see the large concrete supporting pillars near Müürivahe Street, where women sell their mittens and sweaters. The pillars are somewhat ugly, but I am used to them, as they do their job.

In the 1980s, I was connected to the Filmmakers Association Building on the other side of the wall, on Uus Street. At the same time, Polish builders built a defensive passage from here towards the Viru gate. It was extended in the opposite direction a dozen years ago, so it is now possible to go from here directly to the Tower Behind the Monks. A new spiral staircase was installed inside me, so it is now easier to move up and down as well as shuttle along the 200-metres long defensive passage, towards Viru – and back again.