Keila-Joa manor was built in early 19th century by Alexander von Benckendorff, who was head of the police in Russia during the era of Russian Emperor Nikolai I. Later the Volkonsky family became the owners. Relatives of the family fought against Napoleon, and one, Pjotr Volkonsky, was the prototype for Andrei Bolkonsky in the book “War and Peace” by Tolstoy.
80,2 ha park is located by the Keila river, its high riverbanks are opening up beautiful views to the manor and sea. It used to have several pavillions, monuments, bridges and romantical ruins on the west riverbank. Park has been reconstructed several times.
Start from Keila-Joa shop, cross the street, dross the river and walk over the bridges. It`s about 3 km walk on the park.
It´s no other ways than bus and personal car to drive to Keila-Joa. Use Tabasalu direction outside the town from Paldiski road near the Rocca al Mare shopping centre to drive to Keila-Joa. After Türisalu bank (high coast near the Keila-Joa) You can find village with Stalin-time 2-floor bouildings and cottage cooperatives. Stop on the Shop parking place (over the Keila bridge right is another parking lot, they ask money for parking).
If You decided to use bus, find Tallinn-Keila-Nõva line from Balti Jaam (central train station).
One local custom is to visit a Keila-Joa bridge to lock the padlock to bridge securing the marriage. The key is throwen to river then You can never open the marriage bondage.
This tradition is very popular among russian population but some estonians use the tradition, too. You can find names of the couples and date written on padlocks.
The first year that I traveled to Keila we left a purse in the auto and when we returned less than an hour later the side window was smashed in and the purse was gone. When we filed a police report they told us that it was very common for that to happen there, but OF COURSE they are too busy to do anything about it. So I reccomend two things while visiting there; first don't leave anything of value in your auto, even if it is hidden in a bag, and second don't park in the park parking lot; park near the old buildings where the coffee house is. It is more in the open and there is too good a chance that some one will see something bad happening.
Usually, all tourists go to visit just a waterfall. They leave car to very expensive parking lot. But You can visit more than just a waterfall..
Unique Suggestions: Visti the brand new energy station near waterfall. At this time, when I write this notice, energy station was renovated, but will be ready at the beginning of 2005.
Fun Alternatives: Walk towards the sea, nice park and if You are lucky, You will find old cemetery of Keila-Joa Manor and not so old soviet time ministry summer cottages near the sea.