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:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.