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Alatskivi Castle

Location: N58° 36` 13.9", E27° 7` 46.94"

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Alatskivi castle was founded in the middle of 14th century. It has belonged to several Baltic German noble families, but current manor complex was built when Sophie Stackelberg was married to Ernst Friedrich von Nolcken, the son of the baron of Luunja manor. Their son established a historicist palace as a home for his five-member family.  

The construction works of side buildings and the castle itself dates back to the end of the 19th century. Then the manor complex consisted of 57 buildings, 41 of them still existing. Baron Arved George Nolcken rebuilt the castle according to his own designs, inspired by Queen Victoria’s Balmoral castle in Scotland, which he visited during his trip there. The castle was a home of the Nolckens for 20 years. After the peasant unrest in 1905 they didn’t use the castle as their permanent residence. The manor was rented out.  

The manor is surrounded by large park. Behind the castle it descends in terraces down to the pond.  

A stylish red brick gatehouse tower has also been preserved. After nationalization occurred in 1919, the castle has been used as a school, cavalry barracks, and state farm council offices. Most of the side buildings, a park and the avenue of linden trees are preserved. Today the castle belongs to Alatskivi municipality. The complex has been renovated between 2005 and 2011. After the 2011 restoration, the castle was opened to the public where the history of the building is introduced. There is an exhibition of wax figures. Visitors can borrow clothes of servants and aristocrats. In the basement of the manor house, there are rooms for different handicraft workshops. Local restaurant offers food from German, Estonian and Scottish cuisines. It is possible to stay overnight in a suite of the manor. Alatskivi Nature Center is located in the old barn house.