The former garage assembles all kinds of vehicles that may ever have been used in Palmse: old cars and trucks, bicycles, motorbikes, tractors and other agricultural machines, and even a pram with a teddybear.
The car museum is located in the building on the right side of the front yard.
The garden area behind the greenhouse is planted with apple, pear and other fruit trees. Some old greenhouses are located along the back wall. The fruit trees are not just any random fruit trees: This orchard is a genetic database and storage. Old, half-forgotten varieties of fruit have been planted here to preserve them.
If it's the season, you are welcome to help yourself to a healthy snack. We visited in September and the gardeners had put up boxes with ripe apples for the visitors to take and eat. For free, of course. Everyone was happily chewing fresh apples.
The 1870s greenhouse is located behind a little canal that brings water to the lake. It served for both pleasure and utility. The central part has palm trees and other tropical plants, a little fountain and sculptures, chairs and tables to relax and dream of the South. The side wings, however, were and are used to plant grapes, lettuce, and delicate fruit.
Access is from the orchard.
Palmse was the first of the manors in Lahemaa National Parkthat has been restored to its former splendour. This makes it the most famous. Restorations started already in the 1970s, in Soviet times. The ensemble provides insight in the life of a Baltic noble family in the 19th century.
The house, built in 1782-1785, is like a complete little palace with everything a late baroque palace requires: the gate and cour d'honneur in front, the residential quarters with separate apartments for husband and wife, a festival hall, the park behind with a landscape garden, a lake and several small park buildings. At the same time it is a farm and enterprise with the necessary economy buildings.
Manor, orchard, greenhouse, garage and grounds are open to the public. The entrance fee for everything is 60 EEK for adults.
The side buildings have been turned into a hotel and tavern. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing but exclusive countryside location to spend your holiday, here it is.
The interior of the manor is a museum. The rooms show how a noble family in the Baltics used to live in the 19th and early 20th century.
All rooms are fully furnitured. However, note that except one chair none of the furniture has actually belonged to the owners of Palmse, family von Pahlen. They had to leave the manor in 1923. Afterwards it was used by the Estonian Defence League, in Soviet times it became a children's summer camp. In other words, all original furniture was lost. Only the ovens and tiling stayed in their place. The present furniture is original from the relevant times but was bought in antiques trade and has never belonged to Palmse.
The park of Palmse manor is a miniature version of huge palace parks. The part closest to the manor, terraced in two steps, is a baroque garden. Restoration works in the park are currently in progress. Further downhill the lawn leads to an artificial little lake (read: pond) with a couple of little buildings on its shore. The forest beyond the lake has been turned into a landscape garden in English style.
Walk the grounds, and don't miss the path around the lake. The reflections of the palace, the brewery and the little park buildings in the water are worth a photo, or ten.
Explanations about the buildings in the park here.
My Palmse page is just about the manor house: I didn't really have time to explore the area.
It's a good place to visit though, and gives a good idea of how the Estonian German elite lived during the 18th and 19th centuries.
As well as the house itself there's a cafe, a small giftshop, a transport museum (equally small) and lovely grounds.
Worth a visit if you are in the area. You'll probably need a car to get here, or take a tour from Tallinn.
The Palmse manor house is now the Center of the Lahemaa National Park. It's territory is 72 500 ha, land 47 410 ha and see area 25 090 ha. From Loksa bank you have beautiful view to the Finnish Gulf.