Kolga manor was founded in 1230 by the Cistercian monastery, located on the Swedish island of Gotland. In 1581 Sweden’s King Johan III presented Kolga to his army commander, Pontus de la Gardie. Through marriage, the manor changed hands from this well-known Swedish family to the Stenbocks who were the owners until the land reforms of 1920. In 1993 the grandiose mansion was returned to the Stenbocks. The building’s history has had many phases: the stone building, built in de la Gardie’s time, has remained intact among the other buildings. Between 1765 and 1768 Count Karl Magnus Stenbock had a late-Baroque central section with a high roof built.
The Stenbock family is one of the most famous Swedish families. Their forefather, Field Marshal Magnus von Stenbock, was one of the most influential people in Sweden alongside King Karl XII. Generally known as humane masters, his grandson Carl Magnus von Stenbock became notorious for permitting 1200 farmers from his manor to be deported to Ukraine in the 18th century. Among all the family members bearing military titles, there were also those with a different destiny, such as Eric von Stenbock, bohemian poet and a friend of Oscar Wilde, who died at a young age in England. Today the manor is in the hands of Finnish relatives of the Stenbock family.
Kolga was one of the largest manors in Estonia. With its 50000 hectares of land and many other smaller manors nearby, such as Kiiu and Kõnnu, all in all it was almost the size of some smaller German duchies. Even if most of the buildings are in ruins, the manor still leaves a powerful impression. Next to the main house, in the former stable, is a cosy hotel (with 20 double rooms) and conference rooms are located in the manager's house. The main building houses the village shop and a rural restaurant.
The Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) is an administrative building and often called the seat of international law because it houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the extensive Peace Palace Library. In addition to hosting these institutions, the Palace is also a regular venue for special events in international policy and law. The Palace officially opened on 28 August 1913, and was originally built to provide a symbolic home for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a court created to end war which was created by treaty at the 1899 Hague Peace Conference.