Olustvere manor was founded in the second half on the 16th century. At the end of the 18th century the manor came into the possession of the Fersens - an ancient noble family from Northern Germany. The manor stayed in their possession until its expropriation by the Republic of Estonia in 1918.
Olustvere is one of the best preserved manorial estate ensembles in Estonia. The current English-style main building was completed in 1903. The estate manager`s house, granary, drying hose of massive stones, distillery, stables and cattle-sheds and several other houses have also preserved.
The surrounding park covers an area of 20 ha. It was founded in the English style and is characterized by well-matching groups of trees and bushes, winding paths, beautiful pands and spacious lawns. The oldest tree in the park is a 300-year old two-branched oak, what is called “the oak of love”. The famous Olustvere maple, oak, linden and ash tree avenues that total 10 kilometres also start in the park.
Today the manor hosts Olustvere Service and Agricultural School, what teaches agriculture, catering, tourism and secretary management.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).