Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia

Puurmani Manor

The history of Puurmani Manor (in German: Schloß Talkhof) dates back to the Middle Ages when a castle of the Order was located here. It was a residence of the Vogt of the Order. The castle was built to protect the crossing point of River Pedja and the main road between Tartu and Tallinn. Later the place of the former castle was turned into a manor. The Estonian name of the estate stems from the Buhrmeister family, w ...
Founded: 1860's | Location: Puurmani, Estonia

Tori Manor

In the Middle Ages, the manor belonged to the Livonian Order and later to the state. The small archaic wooden main building with an Old Baltic design was constructed in 1738 and today houses a museum. Its stylish magnificent stables from the second half of the 19th century with a beautiful gate construction have been preserved. Tori manor is known of horse farm founded in 1854 by the Livonian Knighthood. Reference: Eston ...
Founded: 1738 | Location: Tori, 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

Valga Town Hall

The Town Hall was built in 1865 and its high half-hipped roof, skylights and turrets make it one of the most outstanding examples of historicist architecture in Estonia. There is a memorial tablet to Johannes Märtson, who was the mayor from 1902 to 1917, in the foyer of the Town Hall.
Founded: 1865 | Location: Valga, Estonia

Vääna Manor

The oldest recorded mention of the place (Feyena) has been dated to 1325. At this time, there was a fortified manor or a castle at the site, the remains of which were reconstructed and expanded in a romantic fashion during the 19th century but are still visible in the manor park. The present manor house was commissioned by the Baltic German von Stackelberg family and built 1784-1797. It was designed by an anony ...
Founded: 1784-1797 | Location: Vääna, Estonia

Ravila Manor

Ravila (Mecks) was first referred to as a the location of a manor in 1469. A later baroque building was burned down during the revolt of 1905, and only the grand granite stairs facing the park survives from that building. It was rebuilt shortly afterwards, but smaller and in a neo-Baroque style. It was the home of writer Peter August Friedrich von Manteuffel.
Founded: restored 1905 | Location: Kose, Estonia

Tõstamaa Manor

Tõstamaa Manor was first mentioned in 1553 as Testama, when it belonged to the Bishop of Ösel–Wiek. Lated the owners have been the Kursells, Helmersens and Staël von Holsteins. The Early-Classical two-storey main building was built in 1804. During a renovation in 1997, several original painted ceilings were uncovered. The manor was dispossessed in 1919 and since 1921 a local school (Tõstamaa ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Tõstamaa, Estonia

Kaagjärve Manor

The manor of Kawer noble family was first mentioned in 1541. Most of the current buildings date back to the 19th century, when Kaagjärve was owned by Nicolas von Grote. The stylish Neo-Renaissance main building was constructed In the 1850s (rebuilt and now operating as a schoolhouse). A magnificent 19th century industrial complex (called Mäemõisa) is located 2.5 km west of the manor together with its numerous productio ...
Founded: 1850's | Location: Karula, Estonia

Adavere Manor

Adavere manor was first mentioned in the second half of the 17th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries Adavere was under the rule of Põltsamaa, which as the most important town in Central Estonia administered all of the surrounding land and villages. On maps dating from 1682 Adavere is already marked as a manor. Its massive slate main building was constructed from 1892-1893. The complex also includes auxiliary bu ...
Founded: 1892-1893 | Location: Põltsamaa vald, Estonia

Eivere Manor

Eivere estate (Eyefer) was first mentioned in 1552. The current manor house was built around 1912 in an eclectic style, mixing neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau elements. Today it functions as a hotel.
Founded: 1912 | Location: Paide, 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

Sõmerpalu Manor

In the Middle Ages, the manor belonged to the von Kursells and was built as a vassals’ stronghold (only a few ruins remain). The long and impressive historicist main building was completed during the ownership of the von Moellers in the 1860s (now privately owned). Reference: Estonian Manors
Founded: 1860's | Location: Sõmerpalu, Estonia

Holdre Manor

The manor was established in the 16th century and its centre was built to a more impressive style in the beginning of the 20th century, when it belonged to von Ditmars. Around 1910 the Art Noveau-style main building was built by the design of Otto Wildau. Today Holdre manor is privately owned.
Founded: 1908 | Location: Helme, Estonia

Anija Manor

Anija Manor (in German Annia, earlier also Hannijöggi) was first mentioned in 1482, when it belonged to Hermann Zoege. The main building that has been preserved until today was erected by Matthias Staël von Holstein in the first years of the 19th century. Both the front façade as well as the middle part of the back side is decorated with unique stucco boards. The manor complex is one of the best preserved ...
Founded: 1802 | Location: Anija, Estonia

Jäneda Manor

Jäneda manor was founded as an estate before 1510. The estate has belonged to several different aristocratic families. The present building was built 1913-1915 in an eclectic Art Nouveau style with strong neo-Gothic influences. In 1922, the interiors were rebuilt after designs by architect Anton Lembit Soans. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask has furnished a planetarium at the top of the tower. In the early 1900s the m ...
Founded: 1913-1915 | Location: Tapa, Estonia

Laupa Manor

Laupa estate was established at the beginning of the 17th century. A wooden house was built at the site in 1853-55 by the Taube family but it was burnt down by insurgents during the revolt of 1905. The current building was designed by Tallinn-based architect Jacques Rosenbaum in 1910 and completed in 1913. The style is an eclectic neo-Baroque architecture with strong Art Nouveau and neo-Rococo influences. The manor is co ...
Founded: 1910-1913 | Location: Laupa, Estonia

Malla Manor

Malla manor traces its history back to 1443, when it is first recorder in written sources. During that time, there was a small castle at the site. Around 1620, the estate became the property of Swedish field marshal Gustav Horn. In 1651-1654, he commissioned architect Zakarias Hoffmann to erect a new manor house on the site. The house burnt down during the Great Northern War, and the current building received its appearan ...
Founded: 1880s | Location: Malla, 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

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

Õisu Manor

The Classicist main building of the Õisu Manor was built at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The wide and high parade staircase with sculptures of white marble makes the mansion impressive; one of the sculptures is a Protege of Home, the other one symbolizes Power. Many outbuildings belong to the Manor Ensemble, of which one of the most interesting one is the so-called "wry stable". There is an English-styl ...
Founded: 1760-1767 | Location: Viljandi, 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.