Beauty and peace of small wooden town!
On this fascinating trip we will head westwards from Tallinn to peaceful and charming town called Haapsalu with a legend-steeped atmosphere. Haapsalu became famous for its curative muds and since the XIX century it has been popular seaside resort among locals and tourists (also a Russian Czar’s family). When walking the intricate grid of narrow streets we will see an Episcopal Castle, lovely promenade and the most picturesque railway station in the country. There is also lot to see on the way to Haapsalu. We will make a stop
at Padise monastery ruins, feel the historical lifestyle of local people in the farm-museum and enjoy spectacular views of the bays, which are the homes for thousands of different bird species.
Some places we visit:
Padise Cistercian Monastery is one of the most historic places in Harju county and has been known from the iron age already. In all likelihood, in 1220 the Dünamünde Cistercian Monastery was granted about 30 plough-lands in the neighbourhood of Padise in compensation for the monks’ assistance in the religious conversion (Christianisation) and baptism of the locals after the conquest of Estonia. Probably the first building to be erected was a stone chapel, and a group of monks from Dünamünde Monastery were sent to Padise to serve the chapel and take care of the local religious affairs. The whole Monastery was settled in 1310 and in the XVI century was converted into a fortress. Later it was used as a country house of family von Ramm until 1766, when the building was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Nowadays you can have a look at the ruins of the monastery which still retains the aura of wealth and power that these monastic orders held in medieval centuries. It is even possible to climb up to the top of the tower by narrow stairs to admire the surroundings.
Koela Farm Museum. On the way to Haapsalu, there is a lovely farm museum. It was founded in 1987 in the small village called Koela. The museum is a good example of traditional Estonian farmhouse architecture of XIX century with old storehouse and sauna, along with the relevant tools and domestic items. The purpose of the museum is to collect, explore and preserve items connected with man and his living space in Läänemaa county.
Haapsalu is a miniature seaside town which is known for its curative mud treatments, spas, ancient Episcopal Castle, first built in 1200s and romantic wooden dwelling houses. Due to the plenitude of water Haapsalu has been called the “Venice of the North” – all the narrow streets of the town lead onto the sea. The population of the town is under 12 000 people. Famous Haapsalu promenade is a path that curves along the bay with a music playing bench dedicated to famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who spent the summer here in 1867, one of the finest wooden buildings in Estonia Kuursaal (resort hall) and a sandy beach. Haapsalu was also the favourite holiday spot for the family of Russian czars.
Haapsalu Castle is one of the best preserved castles in Estonia. It was built to be the main residence of the Bishop of Saare-Lääne (Ösel-Wiek) bishopric and dates back to the 13th century. The episcopal castle was expanded into its current shape in the 16th century when the outer wall surrounding the castle with its cannon towers was completed. The walls reached a height of 10 metres and were over 1 metre thick. The most famous legend connected with it is a White Lady’s legend. The legend tells a story of a young monk who fell in love with a beautiful young girl. So he brought the girl, dressed as a boy, into the castle. It was against the rules, because no woman could enter the monastery. The girl became one of the choir boys and people liked her beautiful singing voice. But her secret was soon discovered and as a punishment she was walled up alive. Now during the full moon nights in August, we can see a shadow of a lady in the window of the baptismal chapel of the Episcopal castle.
Railway Station. Another pearl of Haapsalu is the Estonian Railway Museum. This museum is very famous even in other parts of the country; it is a true gem. The train station that was built in 1907 especially for the Romanov family is a part of the museum. The magnificent railway building is said to be one of the most beautiful of its kind. Furthermore, the roofed platform of 216 metres was the longest in North Europe at that time. Haapsalu, being one of the most popular tourist regions in Estonia, definitely profits from its guests. It surely has a sunny future ahead.
DURATION ca 8 hours
START AT 9:00 a.m.
Minimum number of participants is 2
PRICE 99 EUR per person
Groups of 3 and more participants: 85 EUR per person
Children aged up to 7 travel for free*, 7-12 years: 69 EUR per person
– Transportation by comfortable car or minivan
– Personal English speaking guide
– Entrance tickets
– Small snacks and drinking water on the way
– Printed materials about places we visit
– A CD with pictures of Estonia as a gift
– Surprise for small tourists
– Raincoats if necessary
*- 1 child for 1 adult, lunch is not included.