Estonian History Museum and Maarjamäe History Centre

Estonian History Museum

In 1842, an academic society of Baltic Germans, the Estonian Literature Society (ELS, Estländische Literärische Gesellschaft), was founded in Tallinn, and one of its aims was to establish a museum ‘to broaden our knowledge of this country by studying its history, art, manufacturing, technology and nature’. Extensive collections were compiled over the following twenty years, which formed the basis of the Provincial Museum of the Estonian Literature Society, founded in 1864 and later to be known as Estonian History Museum.

Maarjamäe Palace, built in 1874, is since 1975 an integral part of the Estonian History Museum and one of the locations for its permanent exhibition. During its colourful history, the building has served as summer residence of the Russian Count Anatoli Orlov-Davydov, hotel-restaurant, aviation school, cinema, apartment building and what not.

Fully renovated in 2017–2018 the palace and its park were awarded the Best Tourism Object and Development Award in 2018 by Estonian Travel and Tourism Association. It is also a nominee for Best European Museum Award in 2020 – results of which will be revealed in May 2021.

The Estonian Film Museum was established in the autumn of 2006 with the goal of documenting the history of Estonian film. The Film Museum is still in development, with the following items in its collections: costumes used on screen, props, photographs related to the Estonian film history, screenplays, documents, souvenirs, publications and cinema equipment. The largest amount of material is related to the legendary film studio Tallinnfilm.

An important part of the building is the 210-seat cinema and conference hall for film screenings and grand events. Special film events provide visitors with the opportunity to see historical and silent films.