Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Ravila Mõis (Ravila Manor House) - Estonia

I spent my summer holidays in Estonia this year. It was a spontaneous trip as I was there only a month ago but as I have been researching my family history and connecting with distant relatives, I was eager to return. I spent a wonderful twelve days visiting important sites, conducting research at the national library and meeting relatives I once never knew even existed. It was great!

Ravila Manor has always been on my list as a place to visit. As my forefathers were head stewards, several of the manor houses in Estonia are connected with my family history. Luke Manor, Saksi Manor and Ravila Manor have all been managed by my family at one point in time. My great grandfather, Arthur Lestal, was born at Ravila Manor 1887.

Ravila Manor (front)

Ravila Manor (back)

The Stewards house where my great grandfather Arthur Lestal was born in 1887.


"The Mad Baron" - Peter August Friedrich von Manteuffel (1768-1842).
He inherited Ravila Manor when he was eleven years old. Apparently he was quite a character. Peter wanted to be the first pilot and made an aeroplane and flew it off the roof of the manor house and landed in the cabbage garden. Peter von Manteuffel  was also renown for his writing; he was one of the first nobles to write poetry in Estonian when the official language was German. 

Kose Parish

The new exhibition inside Kose Church features information on Ravila Manor and the "Mad Baron."

Inside the library in Kose church.

Ravila Manor was owned by Countess Alexandrine Mathilde Kotzebue-Pilar von Pilchau (1849-1943) when my family lived there. For the past sixty years Ravila Manor has been used as an nursing home and was only recently purchased by a private buyer.