The Hinke Tower
Hinke, Hinken, Hincken, Hindrik, Henken … – throughout the centuries, my name has been spelled in many ways. Be it as it may – with my name – a tricky name to spell, my neighbour who disappeared almost a hundred years ago, was called Devil’s Mother or Devil’s Grandmother (Duveldoer, Tuefels-Grossmutter). It was actually derived from the name of the building owner, Johannes Duvelsmoder! My name is also believed to have been given to me after the name of a person – a city servant and stable boy who lived nearby.
I was built in the middle of the 14th century and I am horseshoe shaped. I am located between the Viru Gate (Lehmporte or Clay Gate) and the Devil’s Tower. From the beginning, all the towers of Toompea had spiral staircases inside the wall. In the towers of the Old Town, such a complexity only became apparent at the end of the 15th century. However, I or more precisely my wall, had a spiral staircase as a separate structure. It is no longer visible, but it is good that I am still visible, as I am surrounded by buildings on all sides.
In the 1930s, there was serious discussion about demolishing me! The surface around me was slushy – loam and sandy clay. Immediately beside the wall was the moat and upper part of the dyke pond of the Viru water mill. Thus, my foundation had to be established on wooden rafts and piles. The water and humidity were not good for my walls.
I went into private hands in 1832 and I was probably used as a warehouse for a long time. Thereafter, residential and office spaces were built around and even through my body. It is a joy to share with you that I was recently – at last – opened to the public. A good catering company now operates in my rooms, whose clients also get to see my inner beauty.