Manor houses in Uusimaa – part II
Here is my second post on manor houses in Uusimaa. Part I focused on manor houses in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, and part II on manor houses in other areas of Uusimaa.
Alikartano Manor, Mäntsälä
Alikartano Manor was founded in 1608. The old model farm has been restored to introduce the life of the 19th century to its visitors. The manor was owned by the Nordenskiöld family from 1709 to 1912. The legend is that the famous occupant of the manor was interested in alchemy and tried for years to produce the philosopher’s Stone in an alchemical oven that is still on display in Alikartano. The current main building, Ylipytinki, is from 1805 and built in an unusual style. There is also a shop, maintenance building and the old main building, Alipytinki, on the grounds. The manor park houses a history and nature trail.
Haikko Manor, Porvoo
Haikko Manor can trace its history back to 1362 when it was owned by a Dominican Monastery. Jöns Olafsson Stenbock bought the manor and Haikko was the residence of the Stenbock family for 400 years. In 1871 it was bought by general Sebastian von Etter. Several members of the Russian Imperial family visited Haikko because von Etter was a close friend to czar Nicholas II. During the revolution in 1917 Grand Duke Kiril´s eldest son, Wladimir was born and christened at Haikko. The present main building was completed in 1914 and was designed by Armas Lindgren, although the exterior with its pillars wasn’t completed until 1966 when it was opened to the public as the first manor hotel in Finland. Today, it continues serving as a hotel, conference center, and a spa, with 224 guest rooms.
Hirvihaara Manor, Mäntsälä
Hirvihaara Manor can trace its history back to the 16th century, although the present main building was completed in 1918 and designed by Jarl Eklund. During the Winter War of 1939-40, the manor served as a convalescent home for injured soldiers. The high tower of the manor was used as an aerial surveillance tower. In 1952 the city of Helsinki purchased the manor and the vagrants of the city were sent there for the duration of the Helsinki Olympics. After this, the manor was a municipal retirement home until 1989. The manor was sold to Arto Hakala in 1992 who completely renovated the manor into its current state. Since 1992, the manor has been a popular hotel, conference center, and restaurant.
Kiiala Manor, Porvoo
Kiiala Manor dates to medieval times, although the present main building wasn’t completed until 1769 by General Carl Johan Adlercreutz in the Rococo style. It was remodeled in the Empire style early in the 19th century. One of its more famous inhabitants was the Finnish national artists Albert Edelfelt who was born here in 1854. The current appearance is from the 1880s when the main building was once again remodeled, this time in the villa style. The distillery next to the manor was built in the 1880s, and today is used as a shop and a restaurant. Visits to the main building can be arranged by advance booking.
Malmgård Manor, Pernaja
Malmgård is one of the most magnificent manor houses in Finland. The history began in 1606 when Carl IX of Sweden donated 30 local farms to Estonian war widow Catharina Hess von Wichdorff. The current main building was built between 1882 and1885 by governor Carl Magnus Creutz. The architect was F. A. Sjöström, who designed it in a Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. Its new renaissance inspired architectural style has but a few comparable examples in Finland. The two-story building has elements of northern French renaissance and the main building material is uncovered brick. The building is flanked by two single-story perpendicular wings. The interiors are represented in various historical styles and the first-floor ball room, with its wall and ceiling paintings is the most impressive room. The English inspired gardens were partially set up based on the 1884 drawings of the gardener M.G. Stenius, but also with the 1890 drawings of landscape architect A.F. Rydberg. Several farm buildings dating back to the late 1800’s are located to the north of the manor house. Today, Malmgård is still privately owned by the Creutz family. At the brewery guests can try out different products and hear about how to brew beers. Guided tours in the manor house are available for groups from May to September.
Mustio Manor, Mustio
Mustio Manor was built in 1783 to1792 by Magnus Linder, the owner of the local ironworks. There was an older manor from the 17th century, but it was dismantled when the present one was built. The manor house is the largest non-ecclesiastic wooden buildings in Finland. The architecture is a mix of the Rococo and Neo-Classicism, while the Gustavian style dominates the interior. Today, it serves many purposes; it is a museum, a hotel, a restaurant, a conference center, and has a theatre. There are many special features in the main building including the parquet floors, with one rare floor that it is made from four kinds of wood. On the second floor, there is a unique bedroom where Gustav III and two emperors Alexander I and Alexander II of Russia have slept. The wooden manor is nestled in one of the biggest private historical parks in Finland. Originally it was designed as a Baroque park in 1787 but in the late 19th century Fridolf Linder renewed the park into an English style park. The park is now a welcome retreat for the soul with its winding paths, romantic bridges, statues, follies and the unique water lily path over the water.
Olkkala Manor, Vihti
Olkkala Manor dates back to the 14th century. The old main building from 1770 is currently a museum. The present main building was completed in 1845 in the Empire style and is used as a restaurant and conference center. It was the biggest manor house in Vihti with the most impressive interior. There used to be 34 manor houses in Vihti in its heyday. The granary was completed in 1819 in the Classic style and is used as an art gallery today. The manor with its buildings and grounds form a protected area and it is classified as a nationally significant built cultural environment.
Sannäs Manor, Porvoo
Sannäs manor was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, a German architect and constructed by Axel Gustav Mellin in 1836 to 1837. The beautiful garden surrounding the manor was later executed based on the drawings of Paul Olsson. Together with his father, Svante, Paul designed many remarkable public gardens in Finland, including the garden of the president’s summer residence in Naantali. Axel Gustav Mellin’s granddaughter married a man called Gustav Silfverhjelm but died soon after their only child was born. Attentive hotel guests today can catch a glimpse of poor Ingrid Mellin’s ghost. Gustav Silfverhjelm bought the mansion from his 1-year old daughter. Gustav and his second wife Elsa von Born were great patriots supporting the idea of an independent Finland (back then a part of the Russian Empire). The committee of the War of Independence is known to have gathered in the mansions’ white room. In the swinging 1920’s, Sannäs mansion was a trendy meeting point of the cultural jet set. Regular guests included artists and prominent figures, such as painters Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Alwar Cavén and opera diva Aino Ackté. Gustav Silfverhjelm was forced to sell the mansion in 1927 and from then on it has had several private owners. In 1973, the mansion was bought to be uses as a business education center. Aalto University became the owner in 2010. Planvest Oy bought the mansion in 2018 and since then, Sannäs has served as a conference and event hotel led by Sannäsin Kartanolaiset Oy.
Sarvilahti Manor, Pernaja
Construction of Sarvilahti Manor began in 1672 and it was completed in 1683. Along with Louhisaari Manor, it is one of two palatial manor castles built in the Late Renaissance style in Finland. Unlike Louhisaari, some Baroque elements can be seen in the design. It was severely damaged in the wars of the 18th century, and by fire in 1880. In the 1950s, ownership of the manor was transferred to the Swedish culture foundation by a last will and testament of the childless couple Alix and Ernst von Born. The front of the manor is dominated by a Baroque yard that is flanked by two one-story wings. The western wing’s history is as long as that of the main building and the eastern wing dates back to the 1880s. There is also a Baroque style park on the grounds. The manor and its grounds are classified as a nationally significant built cultural environment and can be viewed by appointment.
Sjundby Manor, Siuntio
The history of the Sjundby Manor dates to 1417. The present main building was built in the 1560s by Jakob Henriksson. It was built in grey stone and had a defensive purpose. Sjundby has been a residence for several noble families. The most well-known owner was Sigfrid Wasa, the daughter of King Eric XIV. After her, the Adlercreutz family has owned Sjundby since the 18th century, with the only exception being between 1944 to 1956, when the Porkkala area was leased to Russia and used as a garrison. After the Russian soldiers left, Sjundby had to be fully renovated. Sjundby is one of the finest stone buildings in Finland. The castle is in private possession but is also open to visitors. Sjundby Manor is one of the most impressive manors in Finland. Originally built in the 1560s, it was severely damaged by fire in 1723 when attacked by Cossacks. The current appearance dates from the early 19th century.
Suitia Manor, Siuntio
The first record of Suitia (Svidja) is from 1420. The first known owner was Björn Ragvaldsson, the judge in Raasepori. After him, the Fleming family started to use Suitia as their secondary residence. The third owner, Erik Fleming was a Councilor of State of Sweden. He fought successfully against the Danish army and drove them away from Finland in 1523. After the war, Erik Fleming lived in Suitia and expanded its grounds and improved the manor. The present grey stone manor was completed by him around 1550. The Flemings lived in Suitia for nearly 250 years. Their era ended in 1730, when the Russians demolished Suitia badly in the Great Northern War. After that, it was owned by several different prominent owners. It was restored to the late medieval outfit in the beginning of the 20th century by August Wrede af Elimä. The government of Finland reclaimed Suitia in 1934 after August Wrede af Elimä went bankrupt. Between 1975 and 2007 the manor and its grounds were used by the University of Helsinki as a research and experimental farm. The main building stood empty between 1987 to 1995 and the University of Helsinki restored it in 1997 to 1999. In 2015, the manor was purchased by a Finnish businessman and his associates. Several Finnish movies have been filmed in the manor and on its grounds over the years.