Estonian Manors
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Jäneda / Jendel
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Architectural style: Art Nouveau
Region: North-Estonia
County: Lääne-Virumaa
Address: Jäneda, Tapa vald, 73602
Phone: +372 3849750
Fax: +372 3849751
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When arriving at Jäneda, you will see well-groomed areas as well as tall grass blowing in the breeze, calm reflective ponds and lines of trees in the manor’s parklands. The drive, ending in a glorious forecourt, leads through buildings built of massive quarry stone and bricks before reaching the imposing red clay brick main house that was built between 1913 and 1915. The front of the manor, which looks like a manufacturer’s villa, is deceptive – from the park one can marvel at seeing a real Neo-Gothic castle. Most remarkable is the slender corner turret, which creates a displacement in time and space with its jagged top section. Here the builder has steadfastly recalled England of the last century. On the side of the park there is a massive stair-terrace leading down to the lake. In 1921, after the Estonian Republic’s land reform policy was carried out, the Northern Estonian Agronomy High School was founded on the premises. This was six years after the family of estate owner Hans Alexander von Beckendorff had moved into the building. This was the home of the Agronomy High School throughout the 20th century, which explains the building’s good condition. The interiors were rebuilt as early as 1922. Between 1968 and 1974 a new complex of buildings was built. Designed by Valve Pormeister, they stand as a contrast to the Jugend-styled main house and fit in perfectly with the natural surroundings, descending to the lake in a series of white blocks of buildings. This is one of the finest examples of architecture from the Soviet Estonian period. And even if more than half a century has passed since the time when the wife of Alexander von Beckendorff walked into Lake Jäneda with her admired writers, Herbert G Wells and Maksim Gorki, the spirit of times gone by remains. Even without Jäneda’s symbol, or if composer Urmas Sisask had not created his own observatory and concert room in the tower, or the farmers of a new era did not gather to have a chat about agro-technical news, life here goes on.
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