Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia

Lasila Manor

Lasila estate dates from the end of the 17th century. The current building was erected in 1862 in a romantic, neo-Gothic style. The interiors were restored in 1976. Embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer spent his early childhood at the manor house, which belonged to his paternal uncle, and a monument commemorating him stands in from of the building. Today, the manor is used as a school.
Founded: 1862 | Location: Lasila, Estonia

Mõdriku Manor

Mõdriku estate (Mödders) was first mentioned in 1470. Over the centuries, it has been the property of various Baltic German families. During the 20th century, it has been used by various schools. The building traces its oldest parts to the 17th century, but has been extensively enlarged and rebuilt both during the 1780's and 1890's. The manor was the home of several successive generations of the von ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Mõdriku, Estonia

Ohtu Manor

Ohtu manor (Ocht) traces its origins to at least the 17th century. The manor received its current late baroque appearance, possibly the work of architect Johann Schultz, in 1769. The manor suffered from being neglected and eventually abandoned during the 20th century, but has been restored in 2002-2004. Some original details, such as the rococo carved wooden main door and a fine sculpted ashlar fireplace from 1654 (p ...
Founded: 1769 | Location: Ohtu, Estonia

Pirgu Manor

The history of Pirgu Mansion dates back to the 17th century. Earliest document is dated 1662 when mansion belonged to famous Estonian noble family -Ykskyll (Uexküll). Pirgu that was the wooden building back then had no substantial damages during North War (Põhjasõda), but was after this war sold to family Peez to whom it belonged over 100 years. In 1819 Sir Gideon Von Sthal brought Pirgu for 90 000 sil ...
Founded: 1820s | Location: Pirgu, Estonia

Purila Manor

The original Purila Manor was first mentioned in 1513. It was built in Purila, Rapla County and was rebuilt in 1810 and again in 1930s. It was used by Estonian aristocrary, including Friedrich Gustav von Helffreichi, until the 20th century when it was used for education. After World War II it was used by the Soviet Army, including the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps from 1953 to ...
Founded: 1810 | Location: Purila, Estonia

Suure-Lähtru Manor

The history of the Suure-Lähtru estate dates back to the end of the 16th century. During the centuries, it has belonged to several different aristocratic families. During much of the 20th century, the manor was used as a school house. The current building was completed in 1778, and was designed by Johann Andreas Jaenichen, while most of the stucco work was done by Johann Caspar Mohr, who was province a ...
Founded: 1775 | Location: Suure-Lähtru, Estonia

Udriku Manor

Udriku estate (Uddrich) was founded in 1642 and belonged to the Baltic German Rehbinder family until the agrarian reforms following Estonia's independence in 1919. The current, neoclassical building is from 1803, and currently houses a nursing home. Some of the original interiors such as painted ceilings and plaster decorations are still preserved.
Founded: 1803 | Location: Udriku, Estonia

Võisiku Manor

Võisiku estate (Woiseck) was first mentioned in 1558. The current building was constructed in the second half of the 18th century. A veranda was added at a later date. Timotheus Eberhard von Bock (1787-1836), about whom Jaan Kross has written one of his most well-known novels, The Czar's Madman, lived at Võisiku manor. Chess player and endgame composer Friedrich Amelung was born at Võisiku Manor in 18 ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Põltsamaa vald, Estonia

Ääsmäe Manor

The manor in Ääsmäe traces its origins to 1574, when king John III of Sweden presented the estate as a gift to his secretary Johann Berends. The present building was built in the 1770's when the manor was under the ownership of the Baltic German family von Toll, possibly by designs made by architect Johann Schultz. It is a stylish early classicist ensemble with several preserved original details.
Founded: 1770s | Location: Ääsmäe, Estonia

Põlula Manor

Põlula manor, which has first been mentioned in 1489, has changed hands a number of times. A spacious stone annex was added to the 18th-century wooden two-storey building in the 1880s. Nowadays it is used as a schoolhouse.
Founded: 18th century | Location: Põlula, 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.