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.
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.