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Estonian Manors
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Palmse / Palms
The Most Beautiful Manor in Estonia
Architectural style: Baroque
Region: North-Estonia
County: Lääne-Virumaa
Address: Palmse küla, Vihula vald, 45202
Phone: +372 3240070, +372 55564404
Fax: +372 3240071
E-mail: palmse@palmse.ee
Homepage: www.palmse.ee
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Palmse is Estonia’s top manor house. The Lahemaa National Park organisation began fixing it up in 1972 and by the end of the 1980s, the entire complex was renovated: the main building, sheds and barns, the owner’s house and chevalier’s house, glasshouse and other buildings. In addition, the big wooded park with pavements and pavilions was cleaned up. In this form it was the first complex which gave a full overview of a typical Estonian manor throughout the centuries. And most importantly: Palmse started the boom of manor house renovation.. From the 13th century until 1510 Palmse belonged to the Tallinn Mihkli Convent. In 1676 it went to the Pahlen family for 250 years, until they were dispossessed. 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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