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:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.