Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia

Tallinn Town Hall

Tallinn Town Hall, located in the main square, is the only surviving Gothic town hall in Northern Europe. The first recorded mention of the Town Hall dates from 1322. Its present form dates from 1402-1404, when the building was rebuilt. The spire was destroyed in an aerial bombing on March 9, 1944. It was rebuilt in 1950. The Town Hall is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the Tallinn's Old Town. The buil ...
Founded: 1322 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Taali Manor

Taali manor derives its name (Staelenhof) from the family Staël von Holstein, who received the estate as a gift in the 17th century and who were the owners up until the Estonian land reform of 1919. The present-day limestone building, in neo-Renaissance style, was built in 1852 but heavily damaged during World War II. Today only about one third of the original building remains.
Founded: 1852 | Location: Taali, Estonia

Kadriorg Palace

Catherinethal ("Catherine's valley") is a Petrine Baroque palace of Catherine I of Russia in Tallinn. It was built after the Great Northern War to Nicola Michetti's designs by Gaetano Chiaveri and Mikhail Zemtsov. In the 20th century the Estonian version of the name, Kadriorg, gained currency and came to be applied to the surrounding district. After the successful siege of Reval in 1710 Peter the Great of Russia b ...
Founded: 1718 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Vihula Manor

Vihula Manor complex is one of the largest and most and significant in Estonia. It belonged to von Schubert family between 1810-1919. Most of the over 20 buildings date back to the 19th century. The main building was constructed in 1892 to replace the earlier one destroyed by fire. Today Vihula Manor provides luxurious accommodation in historical manor buildings. There is also a spa, conference center and golf courses av ...
Founded: 1892 | Location: Vihula, Estonia

Ahja Manor

The manor of Ahja was first mentioned in 1553. The current two-storey, Baroque style main building was erected in 1749 by Guillemot de Villebois. Later, the manor belonged to the von Lipharts, von Löwis of Menars and von Brasches. In 1929-97, the building housed a local school. About a kilometre from the manor's centre is a chapel (with a beautiful Neo-Renaissance portal) and family graveyard of the von Brasche&# ...
Founded: 1749 | Location: Ahja, Estonia

Viimsi Manor

Viimsi Manor, which was established by St. Brigitta Nunnery of Pirita, was first mentioned in 1471 as Wiems. After the Great Northern War the manor had multiple owners, among those the Stenbock, Buxhoeveden, Maydell and Schottländer families. The one-storey stone-made house got its present shape after the fire of 1865. After the dispossession in 1919 the manor was gifted to the Commander-in-chief of the Estonian Army Ge ...
Founded: 1865 | Location: Viimsi, Estonia

Kabala Manor

Kabala (Kabbal) became an independent manorial estate in 1638. It has belonged to several different Baltic German families. The present house was erected around 1770 when Hans Georg von Uexküll was the landowner, in a late baroque style. Later on, the estate belonged to the von Lipharts and von Vietinghoffs, with the latter established their burial site and Neo-Gothic funeral chapel (in ruins ...
Founded: ca. 1770 | Location: Kabala, Estonia

Rakvere Manor

Teatrimägi hill is one of the oldest places in Rakvere – people have lived here for thousands of years. In the first half of the 16th century there was a Franciscan monastery here, but it was not until 1670 that the first, baroque manor house was built here. The park surrounding the manor was named the “People’s Park” when Estonia gained its independence. Today the original manor building (the ...
Founded: | Location: Rakvere, Estonia

Great Guild Hall

Since the 14th century craftmen’s guilds were significant brotherhoods who drove interests of their members. The big guild of Tallinn was an union of wealthy merchants. Their base was the Great Guild Hall in downtown, opposite the church of Holy Spirit. The building itself was built in 1407-1410 and is a well-preserved sample of Medieval construction. Today the Great Guild Hall houses a museum presenting Estonia's hist ...
Founded: 1407-1410 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Ammende Villa

Villa Ammende is one of the best examples of early art nouveau style in Estonia. The grand villa with a large garden was built in 1905 and belonged to the Ammende merchant family. The façades and interiors of the house were abundant, rich in detail and diverse, but also very stylish. The family went bankrupt after the First World War and the villa was sold to Pärnu City. The house has been used as a summer cas ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Pärnu, Estonia

Kirna Manor

The Kirna estate was given as a gift to the von Fersen family in 1614 and remained in the ownership for over a hundred years. After 1787, it belonged to various Baltic German and Russian families from the nobility. After 1919 it was used as a school up until World War II. During the Soviet occupation of Estonia, the manor housed the offices of a collective farm. Today it stands in private ownership and is used for it's en ...
Founded: ca. 1820 | Location: Kirna, Estonia

Saku Manor

The Manor of Saku village was originally founded in the Middle Ages, first record date back to the year 1513. The manor house itself was constructed in 1820 and it is among the best examples of classicistic architecture in Estonia. It is believed that the building was designed by Carlo Rossi - one of the most famous architects of the period. The renewed Saku Manor was opened in 2002 as a recreational and conference centr ...
Founded: 1820 | Location: Saku, Estonia

Sagadi Manor

Sagadi Manor had owned by the von Fock family from the year 1687 to 1922. The current main main building was completed in 1753 and enlarged in 1793. It is one of the rare Rococo-style buildings in Estonia. The manor house, annexes and the surrounding park have been restored. Today Sagadi hosts a manor museum (the interior has been also carefully restored and refurnished), forestry museum, park and hotel.
Founded: 1753 | Location: Vihula, Estonia

Saue Manor

The beautiful Saue Manor complex is one of the best examples of Estonian early classicistic architecture. The first known owner of Saue Manor was Remmert von Scharenberg from Westfaal, who received right of investiture from queen Margaret of Denmark. Before moving to Saue the would-be manor owner was the bailiff of Narva in 1528 - 1532, and hold a position in Tallinn commandery in the years 1534 - 1549. Apart from his pro ...
Founded: 1792 | Location: Saue, Estonia

House of the Brotherhood of Black Heads

The House of Black Heads (Estonian Mustpeade maja) is a Renaissance-style building in Tallinn old town. The building's name is derived from its developers, the Brotherhood of Black Heads which was the guild of foreign unmarried merchants. The Brotherhood was founded sometime around 1399 and was active in Estonia and Latvia. A 14th-century residential building probably occupied this site when the Black Heads bought ...
Founded: 1597 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Räpina Manor

The Räpina (a.k.a Sillapää) manor, established in 1582, has belonged to the Oxenstjerns, the von Wrangells, the von Löwenwoldes, the von Richters and the von Sivers. The Classicist main building, established in the 1830s, is still there but has been rebuilt a little bit in the 20th century. Today, the museum is located on the manor grounds. The mill, established in the first half or in the middle of th ...
Founded: 1836-1847 | Location: Räpina, Estonia

Taagepera Manor

The history of Taagepera manor date back to the 16th century. It was owned between 1674-1796 by the Stackelberg family and the village of Taagepera is named after them. The present Art Nouveau-style manor house was built between 1907-1912 according the design of Otto Wildau. Today Taagepera manor houses a hotel-seminar centre. In addition to the main building of the Manor Complex worth seeing are also the gate building, ...
Founded: 1907-1912 | Location: Helme, Estonia

Narva Town Hall

The town hall is one of the three buildings in Narva survived from World War II. The Baroque-style building was built by the order of Swedish king Charles XI. The project of the master George Teuffel from Lubeck formed the basis of the building, the construction of which started in 1688. After three years, at the latest in 1691, the building was finished when a gold-plated forged weathercock in the form of a crane was put ...
Founded: 1688-1691 | Location: Narva, Estonia

Pärnu Town Hall

The Town Hall is actually a whole quarter. Its oldest building, the merchant's house, was built in 1797. In 1806 it served as an accommodation for the Russian Czar Alexander I during his visit to Pärnu. Legend has, that in 1819, on the command of the Czar, the merchant's house was turned into the house of the commandant of the town. Since 1839, the building was used as Town Hall. In 1911 it acquired an Art N ...
Founded: 1797 | Location: Pärnu, Estonia

Saka Manor

In 1626, Saka (Sackhof) was given as an estate by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus to the alderman of Narva Jürgen Leslie of Aberdeen, whose origins were Scottish but who had probably entered Swedish service during the time of the Thirty Years War. The estate later passed into Baltic German von Löwis of Menar family, and the current building was erected during the owners ...
Founded: 1862-1864 | Location: Aa, Estonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monet's Garden

Claude Monet lived for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926, in Giverny. With a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionnism and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration.

In 1890 Monet had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, famous for its rectangular Clos normand, with archways of climbing plants entwined around colored shrubs, and the water garden, formed by a tributary to the Epte, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.

Today the Monet's Garden is open to the public.