We know local.

„Events, Food, Music, Culture, Nightlife“

Estonian Manor Houses


04. September 2014

Estonian Manor Houses

Most of the Baltic German owned manor houses are located in Estonia. Together, there are 1245. If you add church manors and manor dairy farms, then that number rises over two thousand. About one third of these manor houses have been preserved.

The history of Estonian manor houses dates back to the thirteenth century, when the crusaders reached the coast of the Baltic Sea. The first 500 manor houses were built while churches were being built at the end of the Middle Ages. Of these, about 100 were suitable as stone forts, but were later destroyed during the war in the 16th century.Construction of the mighty estates began at the end of the 18th century and continued for about 150 years. The architectural style of the manor houses is comprised of baroque, classicism, and jugend.

The manors were assigned to noblemen, who ruled almost the entire land, and one of their best sources of income was the sale of vodka to the Russian army. The heyday of the manors lasted until the beginning of the First World War. The first attack on the manors was in 1905 when sailors and workmen rebelled and destroyed about 150 manors. Estonian independence in 1918 and the land reform of 1919 saw the end of the manor rule, and their owners were left with more than a few hectares of land and the main houses. Some of the manors were turned into parish houses, schools, and kindergartens. Together, 60% of the profit yielding land was transferred throughout the country, including, for example, 225 vodka factories.

The link to the historical owners was broken in 1939, when Germany called the manor lords and their families closer to Poland.

During the Soviet period, many of the manors were divided into apartments, while at the beginning of the 1960s, renovation of the manor houses began again. When Estonia regained independence, the ownership of many of the manors changed hands once again. Together, 414 manors have been restored to their original glory. Of those, about 100 are in peak condition and are being used as private homes, schools, parish houses, museums, accommodation, and restaurants.

TEXT MIKKO SAVIKKO, PHOTOS

Rakvere – Calm Contemplation in the Countryside

Rakvere – Calm Contemplation in the Countryside

Estonia in winter has a panoply of beautiful places to visit, and it’s for this reason that it’s well worth […]

03. December 2016

Christmas Market Joy

Christmas Market Joy

Get into the holiday spirit while getting your shopping done early!   The 2016 International Christmas Bazaar organised by the […]

10. November 2016

Eastern Estonia

Eastern Estonia

Where East Meets West   Like with any road trip, the more time you have, the more you’ll get to […]

26. July 2016

Southern Estonia

Southern Estonia

Rolling hills, fascinating culture, and beautiful lakes are only a few of the reasons to visit this area.   Southern […]

22. July 2016

The  Islands

The Islands

Thousands of islands speckle the coastline of Estonia, each with their own story to tell. Estonia’s islands boast untouched nature […]

14. June 2016

June Highlights

June Highlights

01 Street food takes over Tallinn Tallinn Street Food Festival brings thousands of foodies to the Telliskivi area 11-12 June. […]

06. June 2016

Seeing the Sights

Seeing the Sights

We look at alternative ways of getting around.   Whether you’re in Tallinn for a shorter stay or a longer […]

06. June 2016

Markets, Sea and Culture

Markets, Sea and Culture

 There is no shortage of summer events in Estonia. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from our calendar. […]

23. May 2016