I heard somewhere they go ice skating in winter over the sunken prison on Lake Rummu and Visit Estonia promises an even more interesting adventure – because I don’t ice skate – with a lighted raft floating softly over the waters in summer. I must admit, this destination has character and appeal even before I dive into a deeper “state of research.” I turn to Instagram for the views through the lens of the people who are there now. They don’t just skate: they also walk their children, they fish, they hike, or they just stop to meditate. Yes, this is a fascinating site.
From a distance, the limestone quarry at Rummu looks like a desolate wound of the past. The Rummu and Murru prisons here trace their beginnings sometime in the late 1930s, and they kept being used till the last day of December 2012. The two buildings now stand in ruin, one completely under the water, the other emerging somewhere close to the shore and reflecting its sad specter in the azure mirrors of the lake like a ghost of the past. It’s mind boggling how quickly their walls came down after the last prisoner left the premises. And now, the grotesque landmarks are a tourist attraction of the Vasalemma Parish, because the landscape is surreal, and the color of the lake provides the hues for that breathtaking Instagram moment no one wants to miss.
Lake Rummu is now a popular diving destination too – it’s interesting to observe the lacustrine fauna around the walls of the sunken prisons. They also swim a lot in the summer between the ruins, and stand up paddle boarding seems to gain popularity too. Although jump-diving is not recommended, there are some daredevils who will risk landing on thick concrete, tree branches, spikes of rebars, or barbed wire just for the sake of the thrill.
Whatever the season, the former prisons on Lake Rummu don’t lose their odd appeal, attracting hundreds of curious lovers of nature and adventure.