Estonia: Castles and Manors



21 August 2014

Estonia, rich in history, much of it bloody history, provides the traveler with a variety of unique sights and sounds.

The oldest Stone Age settlements date back 10,000 years.

Finno-Ugric tribes from the east, probably from the Urals at about 3500 BCE, mingled with the Neolithic peoples and settled in present Finland, Hungary and Estonia.  They left behind their language system, so different from the surrounding Indo-European languages.

The Vikings arrived in the 9th and 10th centuries.

By order of the Pope, German and Danish Teutonic Crusaders invaded and conquered the “northern heathens” in the 13th Century.   Yet, the Estonians continued to rebel, eventually driving out the Danes and Swedish reinforcements.

Large cities in Estonia prospered and joined the Hanseatic League in the 14th Century.

The Reformation arrived in the 16th Century.

On and on it goes:

The Livonian War, the Swedish Era, the Great Northern war, the Enlightenment, National Awakening, Rebellion and World War I, the War of Independence, the Soviet Invasion and World War II, the German Invasion, the Soviet Era, and finally, Independence in 1991.

In Estonia, only the sounds of Finish and Estonian are mutually understandable.  But the relics of the past abound. 

Ruined Castles, majestic Castles and sumptuous Manors await the curious traveler.