KGB Museum is Open in Tallinn Viru Hotel

A museum was scheduled to open on the top floor of the Viru Hotel in Tallinn on Thursday, displaying an exhibit of the surveillance means and routines used by the Soviet secret service to keep an eye on the activities of foreign tourists.

Visitors can access the museum from the hotel's foyer 25 people at a time and there will be guided tours only, said the spokesman for Sokos Hotel Viru, Peep Ehasalu.

In the words of Anu Soosaar, managing director of the hotel, the idea of opening a museum had been pondered over for more than ten years due to visitors' extreme curiosity about the activities of the KGB in the hotel and the room on the 23rd floor that the KGB used as its base on the hotel's premises. "Now that Tallinn has become the European Capital of Culture, we believe it's the perfect time to tell the story of Hotel Viru, the KGB's part in this story, and speak about the entire era as it can give guests who have come from afar to visit us the chance to get a sense of the era that we lived through," the managing director said.

Most of the exhibits on display originate from the hotel's archives. On Thursday visitors can enjoy free thematic bus tours that begin and end in front of the hotel every half an hour, served by a Soviet bus and a tour guide who speaks four languages.

During the winter period, from the opening day until the end of April, visitors are admitted on Saturdays and Sundays only at 10 and 11:30 a.m. From May until the end of September the museum will be open on all weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A ticket costs seven euros, and five euros for the guests of the hotel.

The hotel, built by Finnish workers at the beginning of the 1970s, will celebrate its 39th anniversary this year.

From Baltic News Service

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