< Go to Homepage

How a Former Soviet Prison in Estonia Became a Diving (and Skating) Mecca

Travel By

About 28 miles from Estonia’s capital city Tallinn lies Rummu Prison—or at least what remains of it. Founded in 1938, Rummu was once a stone quarry where Russian prisoners did hard labor, mining limestone. The prison was eventually abandoned in 1991, when Estonia declared independence from Mother Russia. Over time, the quarry took on water, submerging the old buildings, garages, and mining equipment in crystal-clear water.

These days, it’s a popular destination for divers to visit. One might say that it’s like an underwater museum. Locals have even nicknamed it “the blue lagoon.” Tourists can visit and take a raft tour (more on that here) or go on a guided dive (more here).

Given the pristine waters that have enveloped Rummu and Estonia’s ridiculously cold winters (in January and February, it can get down to -31 degrees Fahrenheit), the site has also become an unofficial skating rink.

Estonian video company hilife sent a team to Rummu to film some ice-skating stunts on the frozen quarry lake. Watch the results below.

—RealClearLife Staff