A. H. Tammsaare
Estonian literary classic A. H. Tammsaare (1878-1940) is located in Kadriorg, in a historicist cottage-type house. It was in this building that the writer lived between 1932 and 1940 and where he died. The writer’s widow, Käthe Hansen, wanted their home to be a museum one day. This dream has now come true, with the opening of the museum on the centenary of the writer’s 30th birthday, 01. 1978. On the second floor of the house is the writer’s five-room apartment, furnished in its original style. It was here that Tammsaare wrote his work of the 1930s.
After the writer moved to what was popularly known as Luther’s furniture factory pasture, the building was soon dubbed “Tammsaare House”. At the time of the Republic of Estonia, Tammsaare’s house and the two outbuildings that were later built around it were surrounded by a large garden, which, as today, was bordered by Koidula, Faehlmann and Köler streets. The owner of the houses was ship’s captain Hermann Soone, who bought the house in 1920. Hermann Soone died in 1942. deported in Siberia.
Events related to Tammsaare’s house suggest its mythological nature. When the evacuation began during the war, Tammsaare’s widow Käthe was given material to build a shelter, which she brought from Lasnamäe in a horse-drawn carriage. The shelter ran in a straight line from the front façade towards Koidula Street: its walls and ceiling were covered with a board lining, with a high mound on top. In the event of an air raid, Käthe Hansen ran to the shelter with the children and the manuscripts of the novels packed in a suitcase.
Käthe Hansen also acted selflessly during the German occupation, going to the German commander and asking him to place anti-aircraft guns at the “Tammsaare house”, which was done: the guns were placed on two sides of the house. Unfortunately, during the March 9 air raid, one of the houses in the garden was hit by bombs and the house was in danger of catching fire, according to legend, a gust of wind from the “right direction” saved the house. Riita Hansen, daughter of Tammsaare, made a table lamp from the shell of an air-hammer.
The veranda of a house built in the second half of the 19th century is a separate attraction. The veranda windows with mouldings and stained glass speak of the luxury of a holiday home built for bathers. On the veranda, you could enjoy the light, brightness and warmth of the short Nordic summer to the full, drink coffee, read or chat.
In the second wing of the museum, there is an interactive exhibition on Tammsaare’s life and legacy, which tries to look at the world through Tammsaare’s eyes and approaches the writer through keywords such as landscapes, cities, people and society.
The museum’s collections include more than 9,000 items, including the writer’s death mask and violin, and his home archive, which contains manuscripts, correspondence, documents and photographs.