Fully restored Palmse Manor is the show-piece of Lahemaa National Park, housing the visitor centre in its former stables. The pretty manor house (1720, rebuilt in the 1780s) is now a museum containing period furniture and clothing. Other estate buildings have also been restored and put to new use: the distillery is a hotel, the steward’s residence is a guesthouse, the lakeside bathhouse is a summertime restaurant and the farm labourers’ quarters became a tavern.
The wealth of the German land- and serf-owning class is aptly demonstrated by this 52-hectare estate encompassing more than 20 buildings. In the 13th century there was a Cistercian convent here. From 1677 it was owned by a Baltic-German family (the von der Pahlens), who held it until 1923, when it was expropriated by the state – an event celebrated by the simple stone Land Reform Monument, gloating at the manor house from across the ornamental lake and French-style gardens. There are also working greenhouses and an orangery to explore.