Kolga Manor

Lahemaa National Park

The photogenically tumbledown, neoclassical manor house at Kolga dates from 1642, but was largely rebuilt between 1768 and 1820 by the wealthy Stenbock family. Serving as a German military hospital in WWII, and as collective-farm administration and housing during the Soviet period, it's been thoroughly looted and neglected, yet remains stately and impressive. Housed in an outbuilding, the attached museum has collections of Soviet ephemera, artefacts of local rural life and a display on Bronze Age burials at Lake Kahala.

The estate surrounding the manor, forming the core of a village marred by incongruous Soviet-era apartment blocks, belonged to the Cistercian Order back in the 13th century. While the funds needed to properly restore the grand old house itself are lacking, a local craft collective and cafe have set up on the ground floor, and occasional concerts reanimate the faded ballroom. A guided tour for up to six people can be arranged at the museum, for €18.

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