Urajärvi Manor belonged for almost two and a half centuries to the von Heideman family of Baltic-German origin. The estate came to the family in 1672, and the last owner of the von Heideman family, Lilly von Heideman, died in 1917. The last von Heidemans in the manor were the unmarried siblings Lilly (1849-1917) and Hugo (1851-1915) von Heideman. They bequeathed their home to be maintained as museum.
The Empire style main building was built to the present shape in 1840s. During von Heidemans lifetime, the siblings decorated a wing situated in the garden as a museum. The building is called the old museum. The old museum displays the family’s old furniture and other objects. The manor is surrounded by an English park with its remains of old gate and small bridges. Hugo von Heideman’s fascinating path leads the walker to the vista point Valhalla which has a semi-circular colonnade built in 1913 in antique style.
Urajärvi Manor is one of Finland’s oldest manor museums and was opened to the public in 1928. Museum is closed 2008-2012 due to renovation.
Reference: National Board of Antiques
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.