Palaces, manors and town halls in 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

Suure-Kõpu Manor

Suure-Kõpu (Gross-Köppo) manor dates back to 1487. During the larger part of its history it belonged to different Baltic aristocratic families. After Estonia gained its independence in 1919, the manor began to be used as a school house. The current building was erected in 1847 and is one of the latest classicist manor houses to be built in Estonia. The rather large manor house shows close resemblance with the ...
Founded: 1847 | Location: Kõpu, 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

Penijõe Manor

Penijõe (Pennijöggi) estate was established in the first half of the 17th century. Before the Estonian Declaration of Independence in 1918, the manor had belonged to different Baltic German families. Between 1935-1955, the manor housed an agricultural school, and was later divided into flats. In 2000 the building was renovated. The current building was erected in the first half of the 18th ...
Founded: 1835 | Location: Lihula, Estonia

Olustvere Manor

Olustvere manor was founded in the second half on the 16th century. At the end of the 18th century the manor came into the possession of the Fersens - an ancient noble family from Northern Germany. The manor stayed in their possession until its expropriation by the Republic of Estonia in 1918. Olustvere is one of the best preserved manorial estate ensembles in Estonia. The current English-style main building was complete ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Suure-Jaani, Estonia

Uuemõisa Manor

Uuemõisa estate (Neunenhof) is first mentioned in 1539 and then belonged to the Bishopric of Saare-Lääne. During the Swedish time it for a long period of time was a part of the vast domains of the De la Gardie family. The last owner before the Estonian land reform of 1919 was Eugenie Mikhailovna Shakhovskaya, the world's first female fighter pilot. After the Estonian declaration of independence, it was us ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Uuemõisa, 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

Glehn Castle

The Glehn Castle or manor was established by Nikolai von Glehn on the northern part of the lands of his Jälgimäe Manor to become his new residence. The castle was completed in 1886 and was designed by himself. The castle is surrounded by a park with several buildings like palm house (1900–1910), observatory tower (1910) and sculptures Kalevipoeg (1908), Crocodile (1908), all of those designed by Glehn hims ...
Founded: 1886 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Kuremaa Manor

The estate founded at the beginning of the 16th century was properly finished in the middle of the 19th century while owned by the von Oettingen family. The stately Late-Classical main building was completed on the estate in 1853, and now houses a vocational school. At a distance of 2.5 km from the manor, you can find the family cemetery of the von Oettingens with a Neo-Gothic funeral chapel (1890s). Reference: Estonian ...
Founded: 1853 | Location: Jõgeva, Estonia

Vana-Antsla Manor

Vana-Antsla was first mentioned in 1405 as a vassal stronghold. In the 15th century Hermann von Uexkull established the Manor of Vana-Antsla. The current manor buildings were built in the 18th century. The Manor is a surrounded by a 12-hectare park with varied landscape and many ponds. Some 140 different kinds of trees and bushes and 158 plants grow in the park. Altogether there are more than 20 different buildings belong ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Vana-Antsla, Estonia

Vasalemma Manor

Vasalemma (Wassalem) estate was founded in 1825 and in 1890-93 the present manor house was erected by Baltic German landowner Eduard von Baggehufwudt. The architect was Konstantin Wilcken, who designed the house in a bare limestone neo-Gothic style. Several interior details have survived from this period, such as wainscoting, coffered ceilings and pig-iron ovens. Today it houses a school.
Founded: 1890-1893 | Location: Vasalemma, Estonia

Rakvere Town Hall

Rakvere Town Hall was built in 1793 as the city residence of earl Rehbinder. It represents the early Classicism and is ownded by the Rakvere community since 1826. Reference: Tapio Mäkeläinen 2005. Viro - kartanoiden, kirkkojen ja kukkaketojen maa. Tammi, Helsinki, Finland.
Founded: 1793 | Location: Rakvere, Estonia

Raikküla Manor

The first written record of Raikküla manor date back to the year 1469. Later it has been associated with the von Staals, the Kankrins and the von Keyserlings. The luxurious High-Classicist main building was completed on the foundation of a former building in 1820. After a fire in 1960, the house lied in ruins for a long time. Currently, it is privately owned and being renovated. About a kilometre from the manor's ...
Founded: 1820 | Location: Raikküla, Estonia

Pädaste Manor

The written history of Pädaste Manor dates back to the year 1566. On the 25th of June of that year Fredrik II, King of Denmark handed the manor over to the von Knorr family in recognition of services rendered to the Danish Crown. The manor and surrounding farms were an important centre of agricultural activity already by that time. It must have been much earlier, not long after bishop Albert von Buxhoeveden by decre ...
Founded: 1870-1890 | Location: Muhu, 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

Järlepa Manor

Järlepa Manor (Jerlep) was founded after 1688. The present building was erected in 1804 in a classicist style. It was devastated during the uprising in 1905 but later restored. During the Soviet occupation of Estonia, the manor house was used as the office of a collective farm. The most famous resident of the manor was dramatist August von Kotzebue who acquired the estate in 1804. During his time, a small theatre was ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Järlepa, Estonia

Kiltsi Manor

The manor was first mentioned in 1323 as Alba Curia. It was constructed as a vassal castle in the Middle Ages. In the 1620s-1630s, it was rebuilt as a Renaissance palace, and slightly altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century, the estate belonged to the Soviet military forces, and the main building remained in ruins after a fire in 1993. In 2000-2002, the ruins were looted (the side portals were stolen, ...
Founded: 1790 | Location: Läänemaa, Estonia

Riisipere Manor

Riisipere manor (Neu-Riesenberg) traces its origins as an estate to 1394. It has been owned by various well-known Baltic German families over the centuries. The present building was erected in 1818-1821 during the ownership of Peter von Stackelberg. The grandiose building is one of the finest examples in Estonia of Neoclassical manor house architecture. The front façade is dominated by a six-col ...
Founded: 1818-1821 | Location: Riisipere, Estonia

Purdi Manor

Purdi manor (Noistfer) has a history that goes back to at least 1560. The current building is a baroque manor house, built in circa 1760-1770 by the von Baranoff family. Some baroque interiors still survive. Additions to the building were made in the 19th century. Several annexes belonging to the estate are still preserved, notably the granary, as well as the baroque burial chapel of the Ungern-Sternberg family, ...
Founded: 1760-1770 | Location: Purdi, Estonia

Vatla Manor

Vatla manor is first mentioned in the late 16th century. It became the property of Swedish noble family Bielke but was later taken over by the Swedish state through one of the so-called reductions. Later, it again came into the hands of different Baltic German aristocratic families. The current building dates from around 1810, and there are still some rather typical neoclassicist interior details preserved, such as a pain ...
Founded: 1810 | Location: Vatla, Estonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.