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.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.