Estonia is a country with a deep and beguiling heritage, and many of the country’s buildings have a rich and occasionally turbulent history of their own. This is certainly true of some of the classic hotels in the region and the Vihula Manor Country Club and Spa, situated barely an hour’s drive from Tallinn, is certainly one of the finest.
Despite written evidence that there was a building on the Vihula Manor site from 1501, it is widely believed that Odvard von Lode, a Danish knight, had established a manor building on the site as far back as the 12th century. The manor remained in the hands of the von Lode family until 1531 when the Weckebrod family became the new owners of Vihula and in 1605, the manor was left to Brita Weckebrod, who had married Melchior von Heiffreich. The Heiffreich family owned the manor for the next two centuries.
Destruction and rebirth
Little is known about the layout of Vihula Manor during this initial period of its life as in September 1703, during the Great Nordic War (1700-1721), the manor was razed and burnt to the ground. Little is known about when the manor was rebuilt after the conflict, and by whom. However, its rebirth was confirmed in 1800 when a surveyor, S.Dobermann, compiled a list of buildings at the site which showed how extensive and important it had become. Among the buildings listed in this survey were a manor house, granary, sauna, smithy, stables, a distillery, a stone watermill, two pavilions and three threshing barns.
The von Schubert era
The economic situation in the early 1800s was very difficult and in 1809, Vihula Manor was sold at Auction. In 1810, new owner Alexander von Schubert promptly set in motion a vast swathe of improvements to the site that gives Vihula Manor the beautiful aesthetics it boasts today. Most of the buildings were completed in the period of 1820 to 1840, but work on the magnificent main manor house was not completed until 40 years later.
Revolution and upheaval
Unfortunately, a great deal of the von Schubert work was undone in the revolutionary years. In November 1917, the Red Guards ransacked the manor, burning the mill to the ground and destroying many important items both inside the manor house and outside. This started an uncertain period for the manor as after hostilities ended, the manor was nationalised, though the von Schubert’s remained in residence until 1939. The manor then became an intelligence school during World War II, before being taken in as part of Ubja State Farm. From 1951 to 1982, it was an asylum for senior citizens. In 1982, a fire devastated the building and they were handed to Viru Collective Farm.
Into the modern day
After years of disrepair, the manor was bought in 1991 by Vihula Mois and renovated extensively. Now known as the Vihula Manor Country Club and Spa, the buildings have been upgraded to luxury accommodation and the grounds have undergone total restoration. A key tenet in the development has been to ensure that along with modernisation of the facilities, the long and important history of the beautiful buildings are central to the design. It was a tough task, but one that has been completed to perfection.
Vihula Eco-Farm and Holiday Village
Vihula is now home to a thriving complex of buildings that transcend the traditional resort. Unique Stay has brought in many innovations, including the Vihula Eco-Farm, located in the 19th-century Horse Stable. The Eco-Farm is yet another example of a perfect balance of old and new, and its resident horses are ever-popular among both children and adults.
There’s also the Vihula Holiday Village. With rich unique leisure and entertainment facilities, ranging from the Cattle Barn and child-friendly Kaval-Ants Forest to the decidedly more adult Vodka Distillery, there’s something for all the family.
Experience the history of Vihula Manor for yourself. Visit www.vihulamanor.com/offers-packages.html for luxury packages to suit all ages and budgets.
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