For the last three years, the Rummu Quarry and the territory of the Murru prison has been managed by Rummu Invest OÜ.
We are working closely with the county authorities and always involve the local community in our day-to-day activities, especially during the active season.
Our goal is to preserve the prison as authentically as possible, while opening it up to visitors to enjoy an exciting day with the family at the beach, on a SUP board, at the water park or the cafe, scuba diving or enjoying a guided tour of the prison.
The Rummu Quarry once offered work for thousands of inmates. But despite its dark history the Quarry is located in the middle of a scenic landscape. The lake, a remnant from the limestone industry, has crystal-clear water and offers a unique way to look at history that is submerged and frozen in time.
History of the Murru prison
The prison was established already in 1938. The first wooden structures, barracks, were built in 1937-1938. At the time the entire prison consisted of a guard post, two barracks for the inmates, a factory and a roofed area for quarry workers.
The Rummu Quarry was founded in 1938, when mining of the Vasalemma limestone (marble) began. At the same time the Vasalemma Limestone and Marble factory began its operations, using the inmates at Murru prison as a source of labor.
Work in the quarry created an overflow of water that was pumped into a kilometer-long ditch that provided water to the Rummu settlement and irrigation for the nearby fields.
The mains structures of the prison were built in the 1960s to 1980s, keeping in line with the requirements of a prison colony at the time. At first, the prison was developed as a quarry and limestone factory where up to 400 inmates were put to work daily. As the limestone depleted in the 1970s, the inmates were redirected to metal and wood industries. The prison territory served as the production ground for several factories and also catered to the needs of the military industry. Inmates were often forced to work in three shifts.
After re-independence, Estonia had no use for a gravel industry of this scale and with changes in the legal system, the concept of forcing inmates to work ended. This also meant that the redirection of the water overflow stopped and the water level started to rise in the Western side of the quarry. As it did, there was not enough to even relocate a large industrial excavator from that part of the quarry. The completion of the new Eastern boundary also meant that there was no need for the old outer perimeter road and the work of the pump station stopped. This led to the rapid rise in the water level that quickly submerged the territory of the former vocational school and industrial complex, areas that lay outside of the Eastern boundary.
The Murru prison was finally closed at the end of 2012.
The prison was called “Murru prison” from 1994-2011. From 2011 the prison was merged with the Harku prison and the official title changed to “Harku and Murru prison”.
The Rummu quarry and Murru prison was officially closed on January 1st, 2013.