Photo: visitestonia.com/Edgar Juhkov
Imagine driving the world’s first car, locomotive or hot air balloon – all these great historic inventions and more will be at your fingertips in the PROTO invention factory.
In October 2019 a family-friendly attraction opens its doors in North Tallinn at Noblessner shipyard, only 500 metres from the Seaplane Harbour. Not only does the new experience centre offer a unique experience unlike anywhere else in Europe, it is also a gateway to the history of inventions.
PROTO awaits explorers and adventurers from all over the world. Visitors young and old alike are offered dozens of virtual reality and hands-on attractions in addition to the exciting atmosphere from the era of Jules Verne.
Unique prototypes brought to life by cutting-edge technology
All of the exhibits are in a former top-secret submarine factory and the world that opens up through VR goggles creates a direct sensory experience. Visitors are taken back to a time when the world had a complete faith in the steam engine, fantastic machines and inventions of the 19th and 20th century. VR worlds waiting to be explored are specially made for PROTO and one of a kind offering an experience riding on a hot air balloon or on an airbike.
Hands-on exhibits allow to experiment and understand physical phenomena from a completely new angle. Your skills and courage will be tested by flying like a bird in dizzying heights, competing with friends on cycling trail and gliding across the PROTO centre with a roller glider.
Noblessner, the new Kalamaja
The former submarine shipyard Noblessner where PROTO is located, is one of the fastest developing areas in Tallinn today. The name Noblessner was coined in the beginning of 20th century from the surnames of Europe’s foremost oil tycoon Emanuel Nobel and the owner of Lessner machine works Arthur Lessner. From the first meeting of the shareholders of the Noblessner shipyard on 8 January 1913, impressive limestone and concrete industrial buildings, including the Noblessner foundry, began to pop up on the site in Tallinn with astonishing speed.
A total of 12 submarines were built on site between 1913 and 1917. Although the production of submarines ceased as Estonia gained its independence in 1918, ship repair and construction continued in the Noblessner area until August 2018.
Today Noblessner has transformed into a bustling hip area, open to the public and the sea. It’s historical industrial buildings (art centre KAI, PROTO), seafront promenade, marina, food places (Põhjala Pruulikoda, 180 Degrees) and cultural events attract locals and tourists, offering a fresh and vibrant environment.
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