Mõisaküla is a city located at Viljandi County in the southwest of Estonia. It was established on a marsh land that once belonged to the Abja manor lord. It developed over time into a beautiful city with picturesque houses and gardens, and it holds the record for being the smallest city in Estonia. This city covers an area of 2.3 square kilometers and has just 32 streets. In the midst of forests, moors and bogs, this enchanting city has a lot of green area with several parks. Located close to the border, it is a well planned quaint city. Mõisaküla is the birthplace of Olympic weightlifter and medalist Arnold Luhaäär. A city with a relatively young and multi-ethnic population, you will find Russians, Latvians, Germans and Poles in Mõisaküla. Though away from the normal tourist path, it is a beautiful city. The currency at Mõisaküla is the Euro.
Points of interest
Mõisaküla maybe the smallest city in this country, but it is most green city. Begin your tour from the city center that has a beautiful building to house the museum and the administrative office of Mõisaküla. This is one of the few streets that survived the war. Walk on to the four churches that represent the three active congregation in Mõisaküla. The first wooden church was built in 1934 for the Lutherans, the church of the Mõisaküla Estonian Lutheran Congregation of Mary Magdalene survived the war, but it was burnt in 1983. It was restored in 1996. The New Apostolic Church is the most beautiful building in this city and it is used as a concert hall due to its acoustics.
Take a stroll to the parks that are in the center of Mõisaküla. The Children’s Park with the swing and ball game, the Alumni Park and the Fireman's park are well landscaped and in bloom during spring. The unique architectural building of the Railway factory is worth a visit. First constructed in 1900, it is a pleasure to see the station that commemorates the railway. Walk past the Kiikre Kuuse Lending Library that began operations in 1905. Vabrik street has a red brick building tower, this is the flax-spinning factory. It began production from 1909 and provided work for the women until 1996.
The majestic Toompea Castle is less than two hours away from Mõisaküla, it was built on the foundation of a wooden fortress from the 13th century. The castle was constructed between 1767-1773 with a facade in the Baroque style. It has been the home of several of the rulers and the conquerors of Tallin for seven centuries. Today, it is the seat of the Estonian Parliament and the 45 meter tall Hermann Tower has the flag of Estonia on the top. In earlier centuries, the ruler of this territory was the King who's flag was flying on the tower.
This hill was a natural protection for the settlers during ancient times as they could see the invaders approaching. The castle was first invaded by the Danish crusaders led by Valdemar II in 1219. Local myths claim that his flag fell from the sky. The castle was later taken over by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword, who rebuilt the castle to make it bigger and more decorative. The Danes captured this beautiful castle ten years later, but it was sold to the Teutonic Order in 1346 and remained with them till the Middle Ages. A walk in the past and the present, as today, you can witness a session of parliament from the galley at this castle.
Address: Lossi plats 1A, Tallinn
Telephone: (+372) 631 6537
English guided tour every Friday at 11:00
The Tall Hermann is a defense tower that stands at a height of 45.6 meters. It is located at the southwest corner of the majestic Toompea Castle in Tallinn. The tower was completed in the 14th century, but it got its streamline shape after renovation in the 15th century. A narrow stone stairways guides the way to the top of this tower, a steep climb of 215 stairs that leads to spectacular scenery of the surrounding area. This tower is about 98 kilometers from Mõisaküla and it stands for the symbol of independence as the national flag flies from the top.
The tower has ten levels up to the top of this tower that stands 95 meters above sea level. The blue, black and white flag flew on top of this tower on 12th December 1918, after Soviet occupation was overthrown and again on 24 February 1989. The Pikk Herman tower is next to the Estonian Parliament building and from the viewing platform of this tower, you get picturesque views of the beautiful castle. The national flag is raised at sunrise to the sound of the national anthem and lowered at sunset, with the exception of Victory Day and Midsummer Day on June 23-24.
Mõisaküla encourages the local handicrafts and there are a few boutiques that display the goods for sale. Browse through the traditional handcrafted Estonian folk patterns on the hand-knitted woolen sweaters and the felt hats that are popular in this city. Beer mugs carved from wood and juniper coasters are other items that are unique to Mõisaküla. There are antique shops that sell trinkets from the Soviet days. Visitors will be impressed with the limestone candle holders and colorful glassware or pick up original art and handmade jewelry that are beautiful. Souvenir CD of Estonian composers like Tormis, Pärt, Tubin, Tüür will make popular gifts back home, while boxes of the hand painted marzipan and the bittersweet Estonian chocolates are delicious!
The local cuisine uses the fruits and vegetables in season, so fresh fruits and berries during summers and pickled, sour tasting food during the winter. The food has an influence of the countries that surround it, the menu includes the local cheese, fish, and meats. The favorite during summers are beetroot and goat cheese pie, pan baked bread, and apple strudel with kama ice cream. Winter is the time to enjoy the different cheese and pickled vegetables with meats. When in Mõisaküla indulge in the local specialty of sweet bread soup and chicken cutlet with mushroom sauce.
Kadriorg Palace is a marvel in Estonian architectural history. This palace was originally an imperial summer residence from the 18th century and one of the best preserved landmarks in this country. The design of this palace resembles the Italian palaces from that era. Admire the beautiful facade that is on three levels at the front and side of the palace, while the rear showcases a two level exterior in a mixed architectural style. There is a winter garden at the rear of the palace that creates a serene and luxurious ambiance. A banquet hall was also added to the palace at the rear and offers spectacular views of the landscaped gardens and surrounding.
This magnificent palace was built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine I in 1718. The king hired the services of the great Italian architect, Niccolo Michetti. The palace has a extravagant appearance, fitting the residence of a royal family. With elaborate paintings on the ceiling and stucco work to the two level main hall that is spell bounding. Explore the royal kitchen that is an art museum called the Mikkel Museum and the summer house, this is the location of the Peter I House Museum. The palace governor’s house is today the Kastellaanimaja Gallery and the Eduard Vilde House Museum.
May to September: Tuesday,Thursday to Sunday 10:00-17:00
Address: A. Weizenbergi tn 37, Tallinn
Telephone: (+372) 606 6403
This small museum in Mõisaküla has a permanent exhibition that depicts the history of this charming village from its inception. Learn about the development of the railways and the manner in which it helped Mõisaküla to grow. Explore the displays of bronze signs for the rolling stock and factory. The models of the steam engine, locomotive, passenger car and the railway trolley are impressive. This museum gives an insight into the cultural life, sports and the influence of education on the inhabitants. The treasured exhibit at this museum are the Olympic medals of the heavyweight weightlifter Arnold Luhaäär a local resident.
Tuesday–Friday 10:00 – 16:00 Saturday 10:00 – 15:00
Closed on Monday and Sunday
Address: J. Sihveri tn 4, Mõisaküla Telephone: (+372) 435 5607
A spectacular journey to Naissaar on a boat from Tallinn to discover the world of Peter the Great's sea fortress. A mystical world of catacombs and exciting military artillery batteries await the visitor. Tsar Nicholas II constructed this sea fortress to help shut the naval routes of Tallinn, while protecting the Gulf of Finland. Learn about the history of Naissaar and the military equipment that has survived all these years. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the fortress.
Saturday–Sunday 10:00 – 19:00 Monday–Friday: Closed
Telephone: (+372) 514 5118
The Estonian Agricultural Museum is located in the historic Ülenurme manor complex in Tartu County. It is about 67 kilometers from Mõisaküla and it showcases rural life and agricultural in this country. Explore the rooms and you will see blacksmith and carpentry work, the process of restoration, handicrafts and black bread making. The new trends in agriculture are highlighted too. They conduct regular events for family and traditional breeding animal competitions. They offer space for hire for events and traditional Estonian cuisine is provided for these functions.
Pargi tn 4, Ülenurme alevik, Ülenurme vald, Tartu County 61714
Telephone: (+372) 7383810
The Tartu Jaani Church is a beautiful Gothic church built in the 14th century. Take a trip of under two hours to see this spectacular church that has the most precious monuments of Gothic architecture in this country. The exterior of this church has terracotta details, while the interiors are aesthetically decorated with three beautiful naves. The vaults of this church has about 1000 terracotta sculptures that are 700 years old. Visitors can get picturesque views of the Old Town of Tartu from the viewing platforms of this church.
Opening timing: Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 – 18:00 Monday and Sunday closed
How to get there ?
Tallinn-ulemiste International Airport (TLL) in Tallinn, Estonia is the closest international airport to Mõisaküla. It is about 190 kilometers from the city center of Mõisaküla. The roads are good and you can cover this distance in less than two and a half hours. At the arrival gate, as soon as you exit the airport, there are taxis waiting. It is advisable to hire a taxi as the bus service is not reliable.
The Estonian railway network is owned by the state owned company AS Eesti Raudtee and the private company Edelaraudtee Infrastruktuuri AS. The train is another option of getting to Mõisaküla from Tallinn. The railway network is excellent and it connects the entire country. There are 800 kilometers of track that is maintained by AS Eesti Raudtee. A quarter of it is electrified. Edelaraudtee Infrastruktuuri AS maintains 298 kilometers of track.
There is a train every thirty minutes from Tallinn to Mõisaküla. The journey by train takes one hour and fifty minutes. Take the Tallinn-Lille–Pärnu–(Mõisaküla) there was an international connection from Mõisaküla to the neighboring country, Latvia, but the stretch Pärnu–Mõisaküla was abandoned in 2008.