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picture News November, 23 2017
image: Siin ei ole midagi… Siin ei ole midagi… Following a very strict entry control - including bags being searched, sausage coupons being handed out and the handcuffing of one of the visitors who the Soviet militia representative found especially suspicious - SCCE's After Business Hours group finally succeeded in entering the 23rd floor of Tallinn's Viru Hotel last Friday afternoon.

- Back in the mid 1960's Finland's then President Urho Kekkonen proposed the opening of a ferry connection between Helsinki and Tallinn, told our guide Jana. The traffic was launched, it became a success and it also became clear that Tallinn needed a new and modern hotel. As a result, and built by Finns, Viru Hotel was opened in 1972.

- The hotel was like a society in the society in those days, continued Jana. In addition to restaurants and bars, it also had its own shops, medical and dental care, a shoe repair shop and even its own fire brigade. The thought behind all this was of course that its foreign guests shouldn't have any real need for leaving the hotel during their stay.

- Having a whole hotel filled up with foreigners attracted the KGB and this secret room on the top floor was in operation from the very first day. It was filled up with sophisticated listening and monitoring equipment and on its door a sign said; Siin ei ole midagi (appr.: Nothing is here)...

- We have left the room as it was when KGB left twenty years ago. A good part of all the equipment was demounted by the KGB, but what is left gives a good impression of what was going on here for almost 20 years.

SCCE's After Business Hours really gave a taste of times past, and so did the Soviet styled buffet being served; bread, sausages (served upon presentation of the earlier handed out coupons!), cucumber, and Russian vodka and champagne.

On behalf of the SCCE group I would like to thank our guide Jana from Sokos Hotel Viru, and Olavi Andla and his team from Blue Drum for a couple of very interesting After Business Hours.

Sincerely,

Kristiina Sikk
SCCE Ombudsman



read more:
· KGB_Museum Visit


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