Palmse Manor

Vihula, Estonia

Palmse is probably the most grandiose and well-known manor in Estonia. It was originally established by the Cistercian convent of Tallinn, but owned by von der Pahlen family over two centuries, from 1676 to 1922.

The mansion is one of the few Swedish main houses and its building was started under the design stewardship of Jakob Stael von Holstein in 1679. The present form of the building stems from rebuilding in 1782 to 1785. Before 1850, the Ilumäe chapel, located four kilometres away, corn-garner, distillery with a high chimney, horse barn, carriage house and shelter were built.

Next to the pond a pillared rotunda and bathing house were constructed (which at the moment is a café). The Pahlen family was highly respected by the nobility and farmers alike. Carl Magnus von der Pahlen was a militarist and took part in the wars against Napoleon. Between 1830 and 1845 he was the Governor General of Estonia, Liivimaa and Kuramaa. On a more local level, he oversaw the construction of Painet farmhouses with chimneys, like those in Palmse, seen in only a few places in Estonia.

Today, Palmse is one of the manors which receives the highest number of visitors. There is a museum in the mansion and the Lahemaa National Park’s visitors centre is located in the barn. The former distillery was converted into a hotel in 1995. A walk in the park within the beautiful surroundings is good for the body and soul.



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Palmse küla, Vihula, Estonia
See all sites in Vihula


Founded: 1782-1785
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Estonia)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sirli Jung (12 months ago)
Beautiful garden and the surroundings in general. Many different restored buildings to see and enter. Highly recommended!
Carolin Kikkas (13 months ago)
Beautiful experience of how life used to be for some. The manor is preserved well. Some furniture items were from 1800s. Beautiful garden and surroundings. Highly recommend.
Katarina Murto (13 months ago)
Beautiful, and it being off-season, empty. Everything was in bloom.
Jens R. (2 years ago)
5 euro entrance fee for the open air museum. If you want to enter the buildings as well, the fee is 10 euro. Very nice place with 3 hikes foreseen (1,5, 3 and 5km). The park has clearly undergone significant renovation. Some items still remain to do (wooden bridge, viewpoint) but overall a nice experience. Very large and brand new toilets have been foreseen. Lady at the reception was friendly and there is a small gift shop. 4g coverage is good.
Yehor Yatsiuk (2 years ago)
When we were here, the museum was closed and it was free to visit the territory (except buildings). Nice and atmospheric place with old trees, wild ducks on a pond. Be aware not to hit your head in the cellar behind the pond!
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