Tiit Veermäe
Before After

The Tower Behind The Monks


I was named after my location – I am standing directly behind one of the most important institutions of the medieval city, the Dominican St Catherine’s Monastery.

The black monks, preaching brothers or dogs of God, as they have been called, were important to the city people. They also spoke Estonian, taught the common people and were highly active in the community in every possible way. They built a huge complex, which included the monastery rooms and a large church. The Reformation forced the monks to leave and their church was burned. I too have burned many times –first in the spring of 1433, during the great fire of the city. So I know what I am talking about. The last time that things got hot for me was 25 years ago.

In the Swedish period, the 17th century, I was known amongst the people as the Tower of Fuses (LuntenThurm). Until the end of the 18th century, my rooms contained an ammunition warehouse. I was privatised at the beginning of the 19th century, as was common with many towers at the time. I was later refurbished and made into living quarters and warehouse units. I was restored in the 1970s–1980s and a cafe was opened. I stood empty for a long period after the fire of 1993 and was then an object of ownership disputes. I have now been restored to perfect working order.

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