The history of Puurmani Manor (in German: Schloß Talkhof) dates back to the Middle Ages when a castle of the Order was located here. It was a residence of the Vogt of the Order. The castle was built to protect the crossing point of River Pedja and the main road between Tartu and Tallinn.

Later the place of the former castle was turned into a manor. The Estonian name of the estate stems from the Buhrmeister family, who were the owners in the Swedish times after having been given the manor in 1645 by Queen Kristina. By 1919, the year of expropriation, the estate was owned by the aristocratic von Manteuffel family.

The present neo-Renaissance styled main building was built by Ernst von Manteuffel in 1860’s. One of the palace's frontal corners is emphasized by a five-floored octagonal tower. Both the tower and the facade of the building are richly decorated. In the interior design Neo-Renaissance is combined with Neo-Baroque.

The Puurmani park and estate complex is under national protection. More than 50 species of trees and bushes can be found in the well organized park, which is divided into two parts. The front of the manor is arranged symmetrically according to the French style. The part behind the building exhibits the English style with its informal landscape gardening. Linden alleys and red brick fences also enhance the beauty of the park.

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Details

Founded: 1860's
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Estonia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Natali Belinska (7 months ago)
Nice castle and park
karin paas (7 months ago)
Wonderful place
Sergei (11 months ago)
Lovely quiet place. Nice manor and park
Jaanika S (15 months ago)
Beautiful park and special manor that is used for school at these days. Really nice place with good vibe!
Zachary Dreyer (2 years ago)
Went for a wedding and it is a very nice venue that is currently a secondary school. Cool architecture and really well manicured grounds. Worth visiting if you are passing through.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.