The manor house of Vuojoki is one of the most beautiful empire mansions in Finland. Vuojoki is mentioned in historical documents in the 16th century. First manor was established in 1626 by Gottfrid von Falkenberg.
Vuojoki Mansion did not really flourish until the 1830s, when captain Lars Magnus Björkman (ennobled in 1834 Björkenheim) bought it. Lars Magnus Björkenheim built the current buildings and drafted an ambitious greenhouse and garden plan. "Vuojoki Castle", as people called the Mansion that time, completed in 1836. It used to be the second biggest manor in Finland. The main building, two annexes and the greenhouse, Orangerie, were designed by C.L. Engel.
Vuojoki manor is owned by the municipality since 1934. Today it’s open to the public, a permanent exhibition about history and guided tours are available. The mansion provides also conference and restaurant services.
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.