Already in ancient times, there was a residential village, a mill and a fortress where Sannäs Manor is currently located. In the 1400’s the estate was owned by Peter Svärd, a native of Livonia, who was a member of a magnificent and rich family. In 1467 The estate was owned by gunman Paul Skytte, who donated the manor estate to the Nådendal Abbey as an act of gratitude for his daughter Anna’s access to the monastery. The lands were later returned by the monastery.
In the 1500’s, the most famous owner of the manor was Pentti Laurinpoika, who took part in the war against Russia, and to his credit, was knighted by the name of Sabelhjerta. Sabelhjerta was also a supporter of King Sigismund, and he participated in the war alongside Sigismund against Charles IX of Sweden as they fought for the throne. Charles IX seized victory and Pentti Laurinpoika was, as a “good man”, spared from vengeance and even gained the kings favour. Pentti Laurinpoika was later appointed head of the castle in Narva.
In the 1600’s the manor lands were at their largest. The 1700’s were an economically difficult time due to the Great Northern War. Sannäsin Manor’ current Väentupabuilding dates back to this era. In the 1700’s, the estate was owned by Otto Henrik Saberhjert who lost the manor to the Burre family in a card game. The manor was passed on to the Boije family in inheritance. In 1766 the manor was managed by Otto Krister Boije, who was forced to mortgage the property as collateral and was forced to sell the manor to Johan Anders Jägerhorn. Jägerhorn was a supporter of General George Magnus Sprengtporte, later future Finnish commander-in-chief. Over time, Jägerhorn found himself in trouble in Finland, and had to flee to Russia, and later to Holstein. Irish emigrants enticed Jägerhorn to take art in the the Irish Independence, where he was caught and imprisoned for two years in the Tower of London. When Finland was taken under Russian rule in 1809, Tsar Alexander urged him to return to his homeland. On his visit, the Irish minister for Trade and Industry has left a memorial plaque on the wall of a house by the old bridge in Porvoo. This was to honor Jägerhorn’s for his meritorious fighting in the Irish Independence War.
Axel Gustav Mellin (1775-1856) bought the estate and built the present manor house during 1836-1837. The architect was Carl Ludvig Engel. At the same time, a park designed by Paul Olsson was set up. Paul Olsson has also designed the Esplanade Park in Helsinki, as well as the presidential summer residence Kultaranta park. Mellin’s granddaughter married Gustav Silfverhjelmin . This young lady died in childbirth. Gustav bought the manor from his one-year-old daughter. Later, Gustav married Elsa von Born (Creutz family) at the Sarvilahti Castle.
Elsa and Gustav were both great patriots and supported Mannerheim’s idea of Finland's independence. The Independence War’s Military Committee met at Sannäs Manor in the White Hall (upstairs in the manor’s current lecture hall). Mr. Silfverhjelm also received Finnish infantry, who after receiving training in Germany, returned by submarine to an island on the Pernaja bay. From there he transported them to further war activities.
In the 1920’s life in the manor was sweet. Guests often seen at the manor included Gallen-Kallela, Marshal Mannerheim, General Ernst Linder, Alwar Cavén painter and opera singer Aino Ackté. Alvar Cavén has illustrated the menu of the time, which is still in use. During his visits to the manor, Mannerheim had his own room at the manor. It was the light blue cabinet clalled 'Marski' located on the restaurant floor. Baron Silfverhjelm was forced to sell his holding of 300 hectares in 1927, and this ended the era of nobility at mansion.
After this, the manor has had a number of different owners, until the early 1970s when the manor was acquired to be the training campus of Finnish business leaders and to serve the training needs of Lifim (Institute of Management). Sannäs Manor Ltd was transferred to the ownership of the Aalto University in 2010.
Today, the manor serves as a conference hotel. The old-age ambiance of the manor is best experienced in the manor main building, which has been carefully restored to serve both conferencing and dining needs.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.