KGB Cells Museum in Tartu

The desire for freedom speaks in the basement

Located in the “gray house” on Riia hill in Tartu, the KGB Cell Museum provides an overview of the Second World War, Estonia’s post-war struggle for freedom, the crimes of the communist regime, and life in the pre-trial prison.

From 1940 to 1950 the NKVD/KGB operated in this five-story building on Riia street. The basement of the building is open to visitors, where there was a pre-trial prison for those arrested for political reasons.

The idea of establishing the museum came from the former members of youth resistance organization Sini-Must-Valge (Blue-Black-White), which was active in Tartu. While visiting these former prison cells they discovered that the basement was not used, and that restoring the appearance of the former prison would not be difficult. Some of the cells, lockups, and corridors have been restored to their original form.