Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Estonian Travels - Padise Manor

While driving back to Tallinn for our final night in Estonia we stopped for a supper in a small town on the back road. From an 18th c. Manor house we had a lovely meal and watched the (slowly!) setting sun across the grounds. 

Turns out it's the Padise Monastery, historic and large!
 Then, of course, we went exploring. That's what ruins are for!
 Around front, near the road, was the remains of a defensive wall. It is much later than the rest of the structures, as the main building had been a monastery.
 The monastery had been crumbling and partially dismantled until the turn of the century when it was decided to rebuild it. It's hard to tell what is original stonework and what was done by amature history enthusiest. The whole thing had lots of scaffolding to make us doubters feel safer.
 The courtyard, one can see lines where there had been floors stretching across the gap.
 It was dark inside, lit about how it would have been in the Medieval ages. Some windows up high to let in the setting sun. That and a lighter, our modern candle.

 Stairs winding up to the highest tower. Very steep, well worn, not ADA compliant. I watched a drunk Russian stick his malt liquor in his pockets to help haul up his mother in law. Nice folks though, they took this picture of us!
 Inside the old chapel had been fully restored, there was even a small bleacher of seating for events. It looks like people get married here, which would be frankly quite magical!
The original buttress finials were intact, carved with some iconography I could not immediately identify. Bearded men, lions?, knotwork... the usual Medieval church business.
After exploring the above ground sections we ventured downstairs. Dark, crumbling, cramped, basements were abundant. The last thing to be dismantled I suppose! They had some garbage, some graffitti, some remnants of satanic rituals - pretty standard castle cellars.

As far as randomly stumbling across a cool stop, this was probably our favorite in Estonia! It was a wonderful meal, and a very neat little jaunt into the Monastery. There's also a little gift shop, but one would have to be there earlier in the day. If you're on Rd. 17 to Tallinn, be sure to stop here!

No comments: