The first record of Suuremõisa Manor date back to the year 1519. The present manor house was built by the countess Ebba Margaretha Stenbock in the middle of the 18th century. The countess is buried in the mausoleum next to Pühalepa Church.
Several dramatic events took place at the manor at the turn of the 18th–19th century. Baron Otto Reinhold Ludwig von Ungern-Sternberg (1744-1811) was a nobleman of Baltic German origin who made Suuremõisa the centre for his thriving shipping and salvage business. He was a better businessman than his schoolmate Jacob Pontus Stenbock (1744-1824), who was burdened with debts, so Ungern-Sternberg bought from the latter the Suuremõisa manor in 1796 as an addition to the North-Hiiumaa manors already in his possession. But his luck did not last for long. His eldest son committed suicide and the father himself killed Carl Malm, one of his ship’s captains of Swedish origin. After a long trial, O. R. L. von Ungern-Sternberg was deported to Siberia in 1803. At the trial, prosecutors also laid charges of piracy, kidnappings and racketeering at the baron’s doorstep. The murder charges stood up, but the other accusations were not proved. We must consider the fact thatthat it was quite common among farmers and landlords at that time to gain “wealth” by hostile takeover. In any case, the baron is remembered as a pirate and murderer.
The last landlord, Evald Adam Gustav Paul von Ungern-Sternberg, died unexpectedly in 1909 without leaving any successors and so the ensuing years were quite complicated for the manor. The greater part of the manor’s extensive library and properties were sold or stolen during World War I and the years following it. At the beginning of the first Republican era in 1918, a school began operating in Suuremõisa castle, but some of the rooms were left to the last Ungern-Sternbergs, Helene and Klaus. The latter didn’t have children of their own, but the children of the village have received education in this house to the present day. Right now the manor house accommodates Suuremõisa Technical School and Suuremõisa Primary School. Despite active usage, the schools have also preserved the building.
Suuremõisa castle is one of the most beautiful and biggest manor-houses in Estonia. The value of the castle lies in its pure Baroque-Rococo style. The English-style manor park was established more than eight hundred years ago. You can follow a wonderful trail to get to know the manor park.
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.