Fully restored Palmse Manor is the showpiece historic building 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.