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 manor was owned by Countess, later Baroness, Moura (Maria Zakrevskaya Benckendorff) Budberg, who has been called the "Mata Hari of Russia" and who was close to Sir R. H. Bruce Lockhart, Russian writer Maxim Gorki and H.G. Wells.
In 1928, an agricultural school was founded in the main and adjoining buildings by Konstantin Päts, who would later become president of Estonia. In Soviet times, Arnold Rüütel, president of Estonia from 2001 to 2006, studied here and agriculture has remained his major interest. Its second most famous pupil was the writer Juhan Smuul. The school continues to this day and some of its students work in a hotel which has been opened on this site. The hotel and the surrounding buildings make a congenial backcloth for parties and works outings.
The museum in the main building covers the history of the estate between 1920 and 1940, with many documents fortunately being saved from then. It also covers the Soviet period of the agricultural college, with the appropriate array of red banners and portraits of Lenin and Stalin. As in so many institutes in Soviet times, the Stalin memorabilia were only hidden after 1956 and were never destroyed, though few can have imagined that they would later be brought out for ridicule rather than for devotion.References:
Soave castle was built in 934 to protect the area against the Hungarian invasions. It was remodelled by Cansignorio of the Scaliger family in the mid-1300s. in 1365 Cansignorio had the town walls erected and the Town hall was built in the same year.
The castle underwent various vicissitudes until, having lost its strategic importance, it was sold on the private market in 1596. In 1830 it was inherited by Giulio Camuzzoni who restored the manor and in particular the surroundings walls (with is twenty-four towers), the battlements and living-quarters.
Soave castle is a typical medieval military edifice, commanding the neighbourhood of the city from the Tenda Hill. It comprises a mastio (donjon) and three lines of walls forming three courts of different size. The outer line, with a gate and a draw bridge, is the most recent, built by the Venetians in the 15th century. It houses the remains of a small church from the 10th century.
The second and larger court, the first of the original castle, is called della Madonna for a fresco portraying St. Mary (1321). Another fresco is visible after the door leading to the inner court, and portrays a Scaliger soldier. The mastio is the most impressive feature of the castle. Bones found within showed it was used also as prison and place of torture.
The House called del Capitano (the Scaliger commander) houses Roman coins, weapons parts, medals and other ancient remains found during the most recent restoration. Adjacent is a bedroom with a 13th-century fresco with St. Mary and Madeleine and a dining room with medieval kitchenware. Another room houses the portraits of the most famous Scaliger figures: Mastino I, Cangrande, Cansignorio and Taddea da Carrara, wife of Mastino II; the portrait of Dante Alighieri testify an alleged sojourn of the poet in the castle.