Sangaste Castle

Southern Estonia

British castle-spotters might experience déjà vu gazing on this majestic red-brick manor house, with its architectural debts to Windsor and Balmoral castles. Completed in 1881 as the home of the 'Rye Count' Friedrich von Berg, it's regarded as one of the prime examples of Gothic-Revival architecture in the Baltics. History has taken its toll, but visitors can explore the impressive octagonal ballroom and head up a precarious set of stairs to the roof of the tower.

While most manor houses were nationalised during the first period of Estonian independence, the popular count dropped the noble 'von' from his name and was allowed to continue living here as plain old Friedrich Berg until his death at the age of 93. Subsequently the house was used as a Red Army barracks, a German army hospital and, following the war, as a cinema and a Soviet Pioneers youth camp. The hotel and cafe that are here now haven't quite managed to shake off an institutional feel, but gradually the building is being restored, and hosts the occasional festival or event

Sangaste Castle is located in Lossiküla (castle village), 3.5km southeast of the main Sangaste village.

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