Estonia’s maritime museum was established 1935 although it had earlier antecedents. Since 1981 its headquarters has been the Fat Margaret artillery tower. It had been planned to open the museum the previous year when the regatta events of the Moscow Olympics were held in Tallin, but the project was delayed. Displays at the tower relate to ship-building, lighthouses, fisheries and diving, as well as the role of shipping in the Estonian economy. A particular feature is the role of the museum in marine archaeology in the Baltic.
In 2012 a further section of the museum was opened at the former seaplane harbour in Tallin. It includes simulators that enable visitors to have the experience of steering a ship at sea, or show what it was like to be a member of the crew of a submarine. The displays also guide visitors to the ships preserved by the museum, the Lembit, a submarine built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness in 1937, the Suur Tõll, a steam- powered icebreaker built at Stettin in 1914, the Maasilinn, a wooden ship raised from the bed of the Baltic and a replica of a Short 184 sea plane, an aircraft for maritime reconnaissance, bombing and the despatching of torpedoes made in the United Kingdom during the First World War.