Wiurila manor was first mentioned in history books in the 15th century. At that time, it was owned by Magnus Johansson till Wiorela. His daughter Elseby married Henrik Flemming and inherited Wiurila. For 300 years from that day on, the manor of Wiurila was inherited from mother to daughter.
In 1787, baron and major general Magnus Wilhelm Armfelt bought Wiurila. His son Gustaf Mauritz inherited the manor of Joensuu, and his second son August Philip inherited the manors of Wiurila and Vuorentaka.
August Philip ordered the first national architect of Finland, an Italian called Carlos Bassi, to design a new main building for Wiurila. Building work on the neoclassical mansion was completed in 1811. Magnus Reinhold, son of August Philip, had the agricultural and domestic wing built during the years 1835 to 1845. The facade was created by another national architect, C. L. Engel.
August Armfelt, son of Count Magnus Reinhold, was a very influential man and an enthusiastic farmer. In his time, Wiurila had a brick factory, sawmill, windmills, a dairy, distillery and the oldest known Finnish brewery. A variety of craftsmen worked on the self-sufficient Wiurila estate, and its own ships carried exports abroad - spirits, butter, wheat, lumber and other products. Wiurila consisted of 48,000 hectares, of which approximately half was in Hiitola, Karelia. The last Count, Carl August Armfelt (died 1942), provided Wiurila with electricity and running water.
The manor became smaller during land handovers and the sharing of inheritances. As a result, just 30 hectares of farmland and a similar amount of forest was left when Anna Louise Standertskjöld-Brüninghaus, the granddaughter of Carl August, took possession of the estate in 1951. The manor of Wiurila has bloomed to its present prosperity due to her and her husband Günter Brüninghaus.
The current surface area of Wiurila is approximately 150 hectares. One of its specialities has been the farming of sweetcorn. The estate is now managed by the Brüninghauses' daughter, Anne Marie Aminoff. Today it is open to the public in summer season.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.