The term Baltic, coined in the 19th century, originally referred exclusively to the former dominion of the Teutonic Order, Old Livonia, or the former Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire, essentially the territory of the present-day states of Estonia and Latvia. The German nobles who had come to the country since the Knights of the Order belonged to the upper class until the beginning of the 20th century. The German-Baltic nobility owned up to 70 percent of the land area in Old Livonia and thus also exercised economic and political power.

The exhibition presents selected examples of noble estates with the manor house at the centre and their history. Some of the oldest manor houses originated from converted castles of the knights of the order. Even in the 18th century, most of the buildings were constructed of wood. Most of the surviving manor houses were built in the 19th century in the various styles of historicism. The manor included storage rooms and stables for riding and working animals, but also living quarters for servants and various farm buildings. In the 18th century, the manor house was surrounded by a park in the Baroque style, later in the form of an English landscape garden.

With the emergence of the nation states of Estonia and Latvia after the First World War, the prominent position of the German upper class came to an end. Of the preserved architectural heritage, most are waiting to be restored and put to a meaningful new use, in addition to a few dozen outstandingly reconstructed examples.

The exhibition Aristocratic Life in the Baltic States. Mansions in Estonia and Latvia was created by the German Cultural Forum for Eastern Europe and the Herder Institute for Historical Research on Eastern Central Europe, Institute of the Leibniz Association, Marburg. The concept was designed by Dr Agnese Bergholde-Wolf, who also wrote the texts. The majority of the photos shown are in the picture archive of the Herder Institute.

Mansions in Estonia and Latvia

The exhibition can be visited by appointment only

Date Tue, 30.03.2021
End 30.04.2021
Admission Free of charge
Barrier-free No
Opening No opening
Opening hours until further notice:
Appointment e-mail: [email protected] or
Tel. + 49 (0)3991 1537-11


Europäische Akademie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Waren (Müritz)
Eldenholz 23, 17192 Waren (Müritz), Germany

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