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Predefined project

The objective of the predefined project was to support the goal of the whole programme – the preservation of manor buildings through use and to support via different activities the sustainability of the outcome of restoration and development projects.
Project was very broad scaled and involved 2/3 of the manor schools, many activities were directly or indirectly linked thus augmenting the effect.


The project started with a training programme “Development of manor schools as open visitor centres”. 32 school communities (school and municipality employees as well as representatives from local enterprises and NGOs) of total 125 people took part. As a result of the training the basis for development plans including vision, services, action plan, marketing plan and finances, were compiled. Each of three trainings for four groups took place in different manor to enable the schools to practice the organisation of the workshop and to learn from each other. In 2015 the follow-up programme “Counselling for creation of business model” took place for 4 schools (30 people) to formulate the values and mission and to compile a business model. 26 participants of the whole training programme participated at the study tour to manor schools in Latvia. Cumulus Consulting OÜ submitted an evaluation report on the effect of the training and overview of the needs of the manor schools.

To motivate the teachers, to create new educational services and exchange the experience in using manor environment in learning process a set of 6 workshops “Manor as inexhaustible learning environment” on different curriculums was carried out with a total 150 participants. As a result the teachers created a study material in four curriculums that are freely downloadable in and portals. 8 manors prepared with the assistance of a tourism expert special study tour packages. Before promoting them to other schools in Estonia the test visits between the schools were carried out.

To use ongoing restoration works as learning environment a workshop for 11 students from Hiiumaa Vocational School was carried out in Vääna manor.
One of the highlights of the project was the international conference “The challenges of rural schools” in Vääna manor on Nov 13th 2015 with a pretour and seminar in Vodja, Aruküla and Olustvere. Conference was accompanied with an exhibition on restoration works in Vääna.

Common visual identity was created for manor schools that is used on website and the items produced during programme (exhibition, book, study materials, reflectors).
A new web platform including digital travel map was created that works as a communication and information platform promoting different activities and services.
A thorough exhibition  “Manor schools. From Upper Class to Classrooms” including a multimedia programme reflects the history and present day of the manor schools and also the activities and results of the programme. The exhibition was accompanied by thematic excursions, learning programmes and city camp for children. The exhibition has been circulating in different places and the multimedia part is available on webpage.
The book “From Upper Class to Classrooms. A Guidebook to Estonian Manor Schools” contains a number of articles and the introduction to all manor schools. The preparation involved also the writing competition to students. The winning story was pronted in the book and some in a popular children’s magazine.

The project was very effective as through different activities a significant part of manor school communities was involved, the identity of manor schools was strengthened, local community was motivated and the trust for the values and sustainability of their schools grow. As a part of the project there were many activities for overall audience to turn attention to this unique symbiosis of education and cultural heritage. During the project many sustainable services were created.

  • Suuremõisa manor, housing a vocational school and a basic school is one of the most important protected monuments in the island of Hiiumaa. A unique baroque manor needed urgent restoration to save the valuable heritage. Simultaneously the conditions of school needed improvement to enable to develop the learning environment. The aim of the project was to restore the main building of the manor; to improve the schools facilities and to open the baroque style manor to the visitors. The restoration works concentrated on interiors where several highly valuable elements like wall and ceiling paintings, but also patterned wooden parquette was carefully restored. During the works unique wallpapers were discovered, conserved and exhibited. The works included also the renewal of technical communications like electricity, water and ventilation systems, but also wheel-chair access and elevator was installed and the facilities of the kitchen upgraded to enable better use of the manor. The project was well implemented and reached its goals. The improved learning conditions help to promote Suuremõisa as an attractive vocational school all around Estonia thus supporting employment and sustainability in the remote island. Suuremõisa has now also a high potential as a school for adult education and lifelong learning. The project opened also new possibilities to promote Suuremõisa as a cultural and tourism attraction, the manor is expected to recieve 40 000 visitors annually. The multifunctional use of manor complex supports regional development, access to education, employment and professional variety of jobs, favors the potential of SMEs. The project was well promoted and the awareness of the results is very high. The exhaustive project involved local community through different activities and helped to strenghten local identity and cooperation between differet stakeholders. A video from national TV ERR main news programme Aktuaalne Kaamera as been added.
  • Pürksi manor complex is used by Noarootsi Gymnasium and local community. The aim of the development project “Making Pürksi Manor School a Center for Handcrafts and Creative Arts“ was to restore a historic barn that has remained unused and equip it as a handicraft workshop. The equipment of pottery workshop was purchased and historical handlooms renovated. During the project implementation period 44 hours of trainings on ceramics, and 10 hours on stained glass were carried out. In addition the workshops on weaving, cooking and use of local traditional materials were carried out. Altogether 165 persons have been trained. Symbols of Pürksi manor and local souvenirs have been worked out. The works have been exposed on an exhibition.

The trainings and activities have involved the students of the school, local inhabitants but also visitors. The handicraft centre is currently run on voluntary work basis, but there is a potential for job creation. The workshops are integrated into study curriculum and are thus sustainable.
The project has been very successful among local people, but the number of visitors from other regions is constantly growing. The activities have attracted also local media. Main promotion has been carried out in social media.


  • Tammistu manor is run by Eesti Agrenska Foundation that provides educational services and support to children with disabilities and for their families. The project “Tammistu shining again!” focused on co-operation with relevant stakeholders for better use of the whole of Tammistu manor complex.

Project contributed to smoother use of the main building completing the restoration works and providing it with furniture and interior pieces. The complex is now ready to provide regular services but also host visitors from local community or elsewhere. Tammistu is ready to re-join the visitor game „Forgotten manors“ and initiated a new tradition of a Family Day to promote the activities of the foundation and to integrate the children with disabilities in the society. One of the aims of the project was to map the further use of the manor complex and its buildings. In frames of the project achitectural solution for former carriage house was finalised along with Tammistu manor complex usage plan. The project helped to find more co-operation partners in the local community, in Tartu county and wider in Estonia. Project had a partner from Norway ASVO Nøtteroy AS that assisted the activities and the evaluation of the efficiency of current use and mapped further fields of action. The project helped to improve the wellbeing of a vulnerable group of people and at the same time find a suitable function to a historic manor complex.

  • Suure-Kõpu manor houses a basic school. The building was restored during the EEA grants period 2004-2009. Current project focused on the promotion of manor complex as a visitor centre.

The project “Showcasing Suure-Kõpu through Art and Taste“ concentrated on the local peculiarity – the admiration of Italy, especially Pompeii in 19th century and the reflection of this trend by local nobility. In Kõpu notorious Pompeian-style paintings were unveiled and exhibited during the restoration. The new highly professional exhibition and multimedia installation provides the guests with thorough historical context and background information on this cultural phenomenon. On the basis of the installation a special curriculum for pupils on antique art was worked out that will be promoted to other schools in Estonia.
The theme of Italy was endorsed by the development activities in the manor park. The backyard of the park that had been left in neglect for decades was turned into herb garden. The garden as well as the purchase of new kitchen technique supports the development of catering services in the manor. All these activities were based on study tour to Italy to educate the project and service promoters. As a part of the project also the marketing strategy for Kõpu manor was prepared.
The project reached its goals and was well promoted in local and national media. The activities carried out support regional development and created new services to attract visitors but also to improve the educational environment both for local students and pupils from other schools in Estonia.

  • Tõstamaa manor is used by the local gymnasium, but the whole manor complex is connected with local daily life. The aim of the project “Tõstamaa Manor School as a Multi-Faceted Community Center for Tourism and Culture” was to broaden the use of manor complex.

In frame of the project the multimedia technique was purchased to improve the conference facilities, but most of all to use it as a community cinema. In addition several needed interior pieces and relevant costumes were purchased as well as the inventory to run a manor café, including a table set for 100 people. It is worth to mention that the dishes with symbols of Tõstamaa were produced by a local pottery. To improve the visiting experience, but also to augment the tourism products visitor maps and a thorough booklet on the manor were compiled and printed. A big effort was given to involve more local people in the activities and elaboration of new services by training them. For example the courses on guiding, English and Russian language took place; also a study tour to Ligatne in Latvia was made to learn from neighbours’ experience. A special attention was given to improve the handicraft skills and the development plan for handicraft tourism was elaborated.
The project reached its goals and was well promoted in local and national media, but it was also very visible in social media. The activities carried out support regional development, the sustainability of the school and the better use of the protected monument. As a result of the project the technical equipment of the school was improved, the skills of the local inhabitants, the tourism and community services were elaborated. The knowledge about cultural heritage grew and there is a better vision to use it as a source of services and local development.

  • Koigi manor is run by a local basic school. The aim of the development project was to take a challenge of the strategical geographical position on the main highway to create new services on the basis of manor park. During the project the park was restored and developed with the assistance of Norwegian partner Gamle Hvan Museum. The new concept enables to enjoy the garden, get the information about different plants with QR codes and also to purchase different plants. Two popular new traditions – Herb fair in the spring and Jam fair in the autumn were initiated. The fairs with exhaustive programme, a variety of pop-up restaurants and different activities have already become popular events among local people but also attracted a lot of attention all around Estonia. The number of different enteroreneurs and companies participating on the fair is ca 45. As a part of the project the trainings on entrepreneurship were carried out for local people. The participants of the training have actively taken part in the fairs selling their products.

The project reached its goals and was well promoted in local and national media, but it was also very visible in social media. The number of reflections in media is ca 30. The activities carried out support regional development, the sustainability of the school and the better use of the protected monument. As a result of the project new tourism and community services were created and the activity of local inhabitants in development of new products has significantly grown. The visits to the park and manor have significantly grown, the number of participants at the fairs during the project implementation period reached 1500 and has continued also after the project period.

  • Pikavere manor houses local primary school and nursery school. There are a lot of inhabitants in the area but due to the position relatively close to Tallinn (30km) many parents prefer to drive the children to the city schools. The aim of the development project “School for All” was to improve the trust to the quality of the school, to promote the use of the manor complex by local community and enhance common responsibility for the protection of heritage. Several activities of a very broad scale were carried out in and around manor buildings. Special attention was given to development of hobby classes for pupils and adults.  In cooperation with music school situated in Aruküla manor the new initiative to teach folk music was launched. On the basis of the manor park and the nearby areas a creative nature trail was worked out and is promoted to the nursery and primary schools around Estonia. During the project implementation period already 1000 visitors used the trail.

The equipment for a café was purchased to enable better use of manor during community events. A special training course on entrepreneurship and creativity took place for the community members. As a result two new NGOs were created to carry out different community activities; a business plan for “Centre of education, culture and nature for all” was created by the participants of the training.
The project reached its goals and was well promoted in local and social media. The activities carried out support regional development, the sustainability of the school and the better use of the cultural and natural heritage. The most important achievement was the activation of local community and the development of Pikavere manor as a local cultural and social centre. Many additional services have already been initiated and the local habitants have created a sustainable network.

  • Suuremõisa manor, housing a vocational school and a basic school is one of the most important protected monuments in the island of Hiiumaa. The main aim of the development project “Revival of Suuremõisa Manor Heritage” was to create a visitor centre to promote and efficiently use the freshly restored Suuremõisa manor and to involve the local community in the safekeeping and development of the valuable cultural heritage site. With the assistance of Norwegian partner Hå Gamle Prestegård series of seminars were carried out to investigate and map the needs of the potential visitors and local community, create a development plan for the visitor centre and train local people to participate in the activities of the centre. Classes on history of the manor and heritage of the region and professional guiding were carried out for 11 local people that can be employed as guides on seasonal basis. As a part of training the contemporary permanent exhibition was prepared. Also relevant booklets and postcards were printed for the centre.

To enhance the use of the whole historical complex theoretical and practical workshops on restoration of stone buildings were carried out on the conservation of the ruins of Suuremõisa windmill. The workshops took place following the principle of open workshop i.e. the works were open to the wider audience with altogether 200 participants. Similar workshops took place at the lighthouse in Hå Gamle Prestegård that resulted in conservation plan and actual restoration works.  The workshops helped to integrate local heritage to the curriculum of restoration of the vocational school. Workshops in Norway enabled the school to create permanent contacts with relevant institutions in Norway.
The project was very successful as it involved a large number of people including students and young professionals, activated local community, lay ground for potential new jobs and services and activated challenging cooperation between Estonia and Norway.  A new NGO was created that runs the visitor centre. The project was very well reflected in local and social media.

  • Palupera manor houses a local basic school. The project  “Making Palupera community more active in an active manor school complex” focused on activities that bond local inhabitants with the school and the manor complex. To strengthen the bonds and create responsibility much of the physical work was done on voluntary basis, the common working days were very popular. In the frames of the project the surroundings of the main building were put into order – the pond cleaned, new rose- and flowerbeds created and the renovation works of the former aviary finished and the building taken into community use. During the project many cultural events took place during the visitor game “Forgotten manors”, also several workshops that focused on traditional handicraft took place. The local habitants were offered a professional training of tour guiding to enable seasonal employment and thus develop Palupera as visitor centre. A competition for Palupera souvenir was held and the price winning souvenirs produced. School pupils studied local history in country study class and the material produced was published in an almanac.

Project fulfilled its aims; it supported regional development and enforced local identity. Project was well represented in local and social media and shows a sustainable effect on the promotion of the area among visitors. As side effect the owners of local cultural heritage sites started a network to promote their sites together; the self-confidence in the values of their home region and trust in the results of action taking significantly raised in the community.
Olustvere manor houses a vocational school. In Olustvere the biggest number of outbuildings of historical manor complex has preserved. As a relatively unique protected monument in Baltic states its aim is to be open to wide audience as well to develop as a carrier of local identity and centre of local economic and cultural life.
The main aim of the project was to restore a former dairy and open it as a honey barn. The dairy (in total 228m2) had not been in use for decades and the project enabled to give it a new function and life circle. The barn was opened in August 2015 and has been in active use providing also one new job. The use of the dairy building resulted also in the more effective use of the manor complex. New tradition of public seminars on bee-keeping and honey production have been implemented.

  • To promote other activities available in Olustvere complex and capacitate better services 4 promotional video clips and informational leaflets in 4 languages (total 3000 ex) were produced.

Also the website of manor was updated and awareness raising events carried out. The number of visitors in the manor was 26 000 in 2013 and 27 215 in 2015. The number of visitors is growing and it is planned to reach 35 000 by 2020.
The project achieved its goals enlivening Olustvere manor as a vibrant and economically sustainable centre of the local community and visitors. The activities of the project contributed to the active promotion of the services and products offered by the manor in order to make the manor a more appealing place to spend free time. As a result of the project opportunities for additional activities were created and the revenue from tourism will support further developments in the area.

  • Ruila manor houses a basic school. Ruila is situated ca 40 km from the capital and due to the geographical situation the potential of the manor as a local cultural centre is overlooked. The main focus of the project was to create more activities that attract local people, but also to create services that can promote Ruila as a tourism attraction.

To reach this goal the equipment of ceramics workshop was purchased and has been in use since twice a week for children and once a week for adults. To take advantage of the nearby horse stables special nature and horse trails were worked out. With the help of voluntary community members and parents of the pupils local riverbed was cleaned and canoes and bog-shoes purchased that enable to organise a variety of sport and leisure activities for locals and visitors. During the project implementation period 4 hiking trips and a special adventurous competition to the schools of the county were organised.
A festive dinner set was purchased and a special dinner menu created to enable the use of manor premises for additional activities.  Many cultural events for local community took place. During the project implementation period the number of parents involved with activities in the manor grew significantly and reached half of the total number.
Project fulfilled its goals creating a strong bond between the manor and the local community. The cultural events and regular workshops and trainings influence local life quality, awareness and responsibility for the maintenance of cultural heritage, and there is a potential for job creation.

  • Puurmani manor houses a basic school. The main building was restored with the funding of EEA grants in the period of 2004-2009. The aim of the development project was to find new ways how to open the manor to the visitors.  To meet the eye the story of Julius Kuperjanov, a national hero from Independence War, was highlighted. The new museum room exhibits the story of the war, its’ heroes and the events that took place in Puurmani. The exhibition will be supported by the theatre play to be presented by local children. The theme is expected to be very popular among school groups.  Another event initiated by the project is the annual singing competition for the pupils of manor schools all over Estonia. The broader aim of the competition is to strengthen the identity of all the manor schools and provide common activities. The equipment purchased enables also to arrange other types of cultural activities in the manor complex.

As a part of the project the training for local guides and service providers was carried out to improve the ability to host the guests, provide seasonal employment and improve the possibilities of local people to compete on the labour market.
The project reached its goals to create new educational and tourism products and to activate local and national manor school community. The project enhanced regional development, awareness on cultural heritage and laid ground for job creation.

  • Vodja manor houses a branch of a private school. Due to a small number of pupils it is very well suited also for the children that need more attention. The aim of the project “Learning with horses” was to implement new learning methods. A historic but abandoned former manor stable was restored and serves again as a horse stable. The school bought three horses and in the frames of the project three members of the school staff were trained in equine therapy and 4 special programmes for learning with horses. The new method is in active use for local children but has caught the eye of many other and the manor has already received a high number of visitors. Learning with horses helps to develop social skills and care for others, to reduce school violence, etc. Due to the project a very active network has been created both on international level and local level to develop the activities.

The project has been very successful creating new services to assist the children, implement new learning methods, enhance cooperation and promote the school. Renovating a historic but abandoned building and giving it a new sustainable function has helped to draw the attention to the other historic buildings and has initiated other restoration activities in the complex.

  • Kiltsi manor houses a basic school. The main building was restored with the funding of EEA grants in the period of 2004-2009. The aim of the development project “Kiltsi Map castle” was to implement Kiltsi manor development plan and open the manor to the visitors. In Kiltsi the world explorer Adam Johan v Krusenstern has lived. The funding of the project has helped to not just professionally exhibit his legacy, but also to integrate it to a school curriculum. In cooperation with other schools of the region a comprehensive study tour programme has been created. Special training for tour guiding has been carried out for local pupils and also different other activities like plays etc have been created to involve local children in the representation of local values to the visitors thus enhancing social and presentation skills of rural children.

The project has been very successful and reached its aims creating new educational and tourism products and activating local and regional manor school community. The project enhanced regional development, awareness on cultural heritage and laid ground for job creation. The interest of the visitors fos Kiltsi manor is significantly high, the target number of the visitors in summer 2016 is 2500.

  • Koeru manor is used by local gymnasium and the music school. Koeru manor main building was in rather shabby condition. Koeru is a sustainable municipality with a rich cultural life and was in a ned of festive premises.

The restoration activities were very well carried out; the building offered several interesting findings of architectural and artificial value. The restoring company had good cooperation with Estonian high and vocational schools and provided experience for students and young professionals.
The restoration work was very much appreciated by the local community and the restoration work was elected the Accomplishment of the Year of the Järva county. On the first open doors day there were 2000 visitors. The local pupils are very proud of their premises and have promoted it in social media. But the project was also actively promoted in local, national and social media. The project influenced regional development, enhanced learning conditions and created a new visitor attraction in the area. The success of the project has urged the municipality to plan to restore also an outbuilding in the manor complex.

  • Illuka manor is used by a local basic school and nursery school. Illuka is situated in a remote area, but nearby are some nationally important tourism attractions. The main building needed urgent repair to avoid further damage to the building through a leaking roof.

Illuka municipality contributed a high rate of self-financing. The restoration works were of good quality. The improvement of the learning environment increased the reputation of the school, but enabled also to promote the manor school as a heritage site and to add a needed strategical object to the local tourism network. Local community has also suitable premises for various activities.
The restoration works enjoyed the interest of local and national media. The project supported balanced regional development, respect and responsibility for cultural heritage, sustainable and multifunctional use of rural buildings and enables to create new services and jobs.

  • Vääna manor houses a basic school and nursery school. The manor is situated in a sustainable and growing municipality close to the capital city. A lot of inhabitants in the municipality are newcomers and have limited knowledge about the cultural and natural heritage of the area. Unique baroque style manor was in need of restoration, during the works many significant mural and ceiling paintings were discovered and exhibited. Local municipality and community took a very great interest in the restoration works. The interest to send children to manor school increased significantly. Awareness raising activities in Vääna influenced the overall reputation of manor schools all around the country. Due to the good quality of works, good marketing and perfect location Vääna has received a lot of visitors during the works and the high interest is ongoing. The manor is intensively used by the municipality; the teachers of the school have prepared study materials to promote the manors as learning environment also ta city schools.

The project reached its goals improving the learning environment, raising awareness on the values of cultural heritage and enabling multifunctional use of protected monument.

  • Rogosi manor houses a branch of Haanja school and anursery school. It is situated in a very remote area. The aim of the project was to activate local community, and to create new community and tourism services.

In the frames of the project different trainings, including guiding, and study tours were organised to local people to enhance their activity, inspiration, entrepreneurship and networking. The apple squeezer and juice press were bought to provide needed community services. The piano bought for the manor has enabled to ret the premises for concerts and festive events. New tourism services are based on local heritage and traditions. The target group of services varies from private visitors to organised children and adult groups. Several new annual traditions were created like a theatre spectacle.
The project was a success and was awarded as the Achievement of the Year of Haanja Municipality. The project improved the local life quality, supported sustainable regional development, respect and responsibility for cultural heritage and activated local community. The project enabled the creation of new jobs and has laid ground on the broader cooperation between the tourism sites of the area.

Last updated: 14 May 2019