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 silver roubles and started soon building of new presentable mansion-ensemble in place of an old wooden house. Demure in dimensions but still with a blaze of Hõreda in style there are similarities in proportions and shape. Exceptional attentiveness was shown to the park that has also influences from English Park. Park of Pirgu has been brought out as the park with most beautiful sights in Baltic States.
Elaborated are sights down the river; the sight of the lordly house opens on to road when one is on his way. Winding road leads along the coasts of the river through the contrastrly laid wood groups to the park square where the ensemble picture of pavilion, bridges and storehouses is seen. The tree sorts in park are interesting and rare. In this park you can also see the tallest nut tree in the Baltic States. About 250 different species of plants have been found in 10-hectare park. The park is under nature protection and manor house is under architectural protection.
The life in mansion had high times during the thirties of 19th century. It was followed by many changes in ownership in 1847 family of Wulffsdorff, in 1887 J.V. Hagemeister etc. And before the house was ruined to foundations in World War I the owner was Gessy Von Wetter-Rosenthal. Nowadays owner is Ruth - Kaja Pekk. House and the park were rebuilt from the ruins from 1984 to 1987 using the old drawings and pictures so today it is mainly the same as it used to be.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.