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Battery or Patarei as its more widely known,is former naval fortress at the edge of today's Downtown and Kalamaja neighbourhoods. Built in 1829-1840,it housed 3 large caliber naval mortars meant for destroying invading navy ships.
Military functions were short lived and by last days of Russian Empire fortress had been neglected to prison role. Such functions continued throughout Estonian Republic period in 1918-1940 and in 1930's additional prison wing was added to fortress.
After 1940 fortress was put into service of occupying powers and since last days of World War 2 Patarei fortress became part of Soviet Union's infamous GULAG system. It served both transit prison for people destined to Siberian camps,conviction prison for select few locals and place where mass executions were carried out.
Prison function continued into re/established Estonian Republic era and well into 1990s,until finally being shut down in 2002 due to extremely inhospitable living conditions.

After multiple development and sale attempts fortress was finally sold to businessman U.Sõõrumaa,who most notably is behind redevelopment of Rotermanni Quarter and upcoming similar project in Riga,Latvia.
Estimated 100 million euro project sees fortress redeveloped into multifunctional quarter with business premises and museum commemorating communism victims. Estimated deadline is around 2026.

Visuals of redevelopment by Arhitekt 11.








This news article has good before/after photos of development: https://www.ohtuleht.ee/987543/ol-video-ja-galerii-urmas-soorumaa-naitab-millised-muudatused-patarei-kindlust-ees-ootavad
 

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Patarei merekindluse sisehoovide, klaaskatuste ning välialade arhitektuurikonkursi võitis Hayashi - Grossschmidt Arhitektuuri (HGA) võistlustöö «Taevakaar».






 
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