|| House is open || Exhibition || Contact ||
The first records of Albu manor (Alp) date back to the year of 1282, making it into the oldest order manor in Järvamaa and one of the oldest in Estonia. The main building of the manor as an architectural memorial is under national protection. Albu was one of the largest manors in Järvamaa both for population and arable land. The manor ensemble is not very rich in preserved buildings (storehouse, arch bridge, park). With its formerly much richer ensemble, Albu Manor with its villages belonged to the original domains of the Livonian Order.
of the building, which started in 1995, revealed a lot of things which the
history of the manor had kept in secret. While the manor house had
formerly had modest exterior and interior, in the course of restoration it
was changed into a lustrous pearl of manor architecture. (Photo)
the closed basement was opened and floors taken apart, it became clear
that a building had been standing at the same place already in the 14th
century: the north-west annexe hid parts of a limestone and field stone
building. Probably, a knight's
secured dwelling house or a small stronghold was located there, as
the construction earthwork is on a man-made hill and partially surrounded
with a river. (Ph) The basement was full of construction debris, revealing
two layers of burnt rubbish. Conclusively, the manor house had been on
fire twice. Constructional-archaeological research also revealed the
bottom of a stove, originating from the 16th century: dark green glazed
tiles with flower ornaments in relief. This fact refers to the existence
of a so-called second manor house. A fragment of the mediaeval wall is now
exposed in the base of the building. (Ph)
oldest written records of the manor buildings date back to 1742. The
present and third manor house is a baroque style one-storied building with
a high base, two backward annexes and a jointed hip roof. The central axis
of the principal facade
is emphasised by a projecting attachment with a triangular frontoon.
The manor house in its present shape is thought to have been
existing already at the beginning of the 18th century or even at the end
of the 17th century. From the history of Albu Manor we know that Adam
Johann Schrapffer took a loan of 1500 rix-dollars in 1652 in order to
build a new mansion.
In 1988, a wooden veranda was attached to the building, which was then highly fashionable in manor architecture. The decor is simple and laconic. (Ph)
rooms are located both enfilade (in a row) and in corridor. (Ph) Inside
the building there is a mantle chimney, to which, in the course of
restoration, the architect has given a new function in the form of winding
the interior a baroque stove of white and blue tiles and classicist
stoves of white tiles have survived. (Ph) In the basement there are rooms
with a barrel vault and cross vaults, supported by foursquare piers.
the 1750s, manor houses were relatively plain. Imposing buildings were
exceptional, as the Great Northern War (1700-1721) had destroyed them to a
large extent. We can only assume that in Albu just a part of the building
(the north-west wing) was destroyed in the Great Northern War. Most of the
reconstruction work in the present manor house took place at the beginning
of the 18th century and in the first half of the 19th century. To some
extent each manor house resembles its owner. Probably that was also the
case in Albu. Albu Manor has had many owners, some of them being, to
believe folk stories, rather distinguished.
the summer of 1998 plaster from the walls of the vestibule and a
painted canvas (ceiling plafond) from under plaster in the ceiling were
being removed. In the course of the restoration work a large baroque style
monumental painting (on the walls 35 m2 and in the ceiling 38 m2
, painted on wood, was discovered, which is the best retained spatial
walls and ceilings of the vestibule have been painted only once. It was
possibly done already at the end of the 17th century, as according to
constructional archaeology the vestibule was not touched by fire. On the
walls the basis of the painting is squared and
wooden beams. (Ph) The wider chinks between the beams had been
glued up with paper strips before painting. The painting has later been
partially damaged by widening of doorways and by some rotten beams, which
were later replaced. The situation of the ceiling painting was relatively
good. Evidently the canvas protected the painting from effects of plaster.
1742 the manor went over to the von Douglases. Placement of the
ceiling plafond on the painting, as well as plastering of walls, for which
holes for plasterboard nails were drilled in the painting, might have
happened at the time of Gustav Otto von Douglas. The ceiling plafond in
the vestibule is white with grey-shaded ornaments. Now the plafond is
being preserved in the ceiling of another room.
original material about both the painting and the woodwork has been
preserved to such an extent that the aim of restoration was to reproduce
the whole interior, partially preserving the plasterboard nails. When
being restored, the wall and ceiling painting leave an enchantingly
and serene impression.
addition to the paintings in the vestibule another ceiling plafond was
discovered, the baroque style painting of which has high artistic value
and is harmonic with the general style of the building, accomplishing the
collection of valuable works of art of the manor. (Ph)
the restoration of the manor house all the unique details of the building
have been preserved or used as interior decoration details in
consideration with the present day requirements.
Manor architecture is treasure which for long has imperceptibly affected our ancestors' sense of beauty and way of life. Manor houses and parks play an essential part in the Estonian landscape.
life in the manor has been as interesting as the story of its
construction. We know from the history that in years 1717-1740 so-called
Albu Orphan School worked in Albu (although evidently not in the manor
house), where schooling and chivalric education were given to orphaned and
impoverished children of nobility. Also some non-noble Estonian and
Russian children attended the school. In history records the school has
also been called as “knight academy”. Old languages, French, German,
fencing, dancing, history, architecture, geography, military studies were
Manor together with the neighbouring birthplace of A. H. Tammsaare and the
13th-century Järva-Madise Church (Ph) is worth a swerve from wide roads
and big cities. Since
1921, a school has been working in the manor house. (Ph)
by Aino Pung
Manor House is open to public from 1 September to 1 June, starting from
registration requested on phone 038 37761, 038 20501.
2002 the manor house is open to tourists from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday to
Sunday, from 08 June to 18 August.
can see the textile exhibition, in co-operation with Estonian Academy of
Arts, from 29 June to 26 July, and the exhibition of paintings by Tiit Pääsuke
from 27 July to 18 August. Information on exhibitions on phone 052 14270.
aadress: ESTONIA Järvamaa, Albu vald, Järva-Madise, 73401
telefon: +372 38 20 501
faks: +372 38 20 500