The Widget Factory (Aparaaditehas) is an old factory complex at the corner of Riia and Kastani streets in Tartu. During the Soviet times, the factory was used for manufacturing refrigeration equipment, secret submarine parts and in order to mislead the public, also non-functioning umbrellas and zippers. At its heyday in the middle of 1970s, the factory provided employment for almost 1,500 people, it had its own health centre with sauna and a pool, a canteen, it's own artist and enough administrative premises to occupy several buildings.
In 2006, the complex of the Widget Factory was purchased by a real estate company called ABC Kinnisvarateenuste OÜ that is also the current owner of the factory. Since 2014, the 14,000 m2 centre has been developed into a culture factory.
By today, the Widget Factory and its surrounding city block have become one of the most rapidly developing areas in Tartu. This universal culture factory brings together creative entrepreneurs, artist and designer studios, commerce and entertainment. It hosts four restaurants and two cafés, it is the home for the very popular Müürilille flea market, two galleries (Kogo and Ag47), many different event spaces and venues like the Hall of Love, the Club of Different Rooms and the Living Room Behind the Stage. The Widget Factory is a home for many different office spaces, a co-working area called Sofa Office and rooms for numerous small and exciting shops. Our courtyard called Taskupark (The Pocket Park) is the coolest meeting place in the area that hosts both concerts, flea markets and an outdoor cinema in the summer. The Estonian Printing and Paper Museum recently moved to a larger building and is located in the neighbouring courtyard. We offer tours of Aparaaditehas which can be held in English. Minimum group size is 10 people (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info).
Aparaaditehas hosts a variety of different events every week from concerts to workshops and parties to exhibitions. Check out our events page (most event descriptions are in Estonian, but many are in English as well).