Alatskivi Castle

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Alatskivi Castle
Alatskivi loss
Alatskivi, Alatskivi Parish, Tartu County, Estonia
Alatskivi loss vaadatuna väravast.JPG
Alatskivi Castle
Alatskivi Castle is located in Estonia
Alatskivi Castle
Alatskivi Castle
Coordinates 58°36′14″N 27°07′47″E / 58.6039°N 27.1297°E / 58.6039; 27.1297
Site history
Built Original in 16th century, rebuilt in late 19th century

Alatskivi Castle (Estonian: Alatskivi loss, German: Schloss Allatzkiwwi) is a Neo-Gothic castle in Alatskivi, Estonia. Dating to the 16th century, it is situated in Alatskivi Parish, Tartu County. It was rebuilt in the late 19th century by Arved von Nolcken, modeled on the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland. A renovation occurred between 2005 and 2011. Five rooms on the first floor house the Eduard Tubin museum, which documents his accomplishments as a music composer and conductor.

Alatskivi Castle is one of the many structures that exist in a forested park of 130 hectares (320 acres) area, the largest in Tartu County. The park contains many oaks, ashes, maples, alders and an approach path lined with linden trees.


Alatskivi Castle is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Tartu and 205 kilometres (127 mi) from Tallinn.[1][2] It was built on the high bank of Lake Alatskivi at the foot of the Alatskivi valley.[3] An arch entrance leads to the castle along a path lined with linden trees.[4]


The earliest mention of the manor was in 1601.[3] King Gustav Adolf II of Sweden gave it to his secretary, Johan Adler Salvius, in 1628. In 1642, its ownership passed on to the Cronmanns. In 1753, it was purchased by the Stackelbergs and inherited by the Nolckens in 1870.[3] The castle was re-built from 1876–1885 on the initiative and according to the design of the Baron Arved George de Nolcken (1845–1909),[5] in the Scottish baronial style, designed as a smaller version of Balmoral Castle, which he had visited in 1875.[6][3] After nationalization occurred, the castle complex was taken over by the government under the Ministry of Agriculture[3] and became a school, cavalry barracks, state controlled farm land, council offices, cinema and library. It has been fully refurbished to its original form based on the original pictures of the aristocracy and their descendents who resided here.[6] After the 2005–11 restoration, the castle was opened to the public with the Alatskivi Castle Foundation administrating the castle and the manor complex.[citation needed]


Author Ain Hinsberg refers to the manor house as being in the "fake-English-castle style";[7] it features a slate roof and turrets,[3] with stone masonry to an asymmetrical layout. The building has both single story and double storied floors. It serves as a community house for seminars, training programmes and small conferences, with three halls of varying seating capacity, and a canteen caters to the needs of the participants.[2]

Completed in 2011, the Eduard Tubin Museum is located in five rooms on the first floor of the castle. Alatskivi rural municipality and the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum were associated with its establishment. The main feature is devoted to the life and work of Eduard Tubin who was one of Estonia's most esteemed composers.[8] The initial exhibits are of members of the Tartu school who studied with Tubin, including Heino Eller, Eduard Oja, Alfred Karindi, Olav Roots, and Karl Leichter.[8] Tubin's music scores, manuscripts, books, records, films and photos, musical instruments, records, books, and sketches of theatre costumes are all part of the display.[8] The museum also houses a large-scale model of the castle and plays the music of Tubin.[8]

Manor Park[edit]

The 130 hectares (320 acres) Manor Park consists of oaks, ashes, maples, alders and an approach path lined with linden trees,[6] some trees being grown on terraces.[3] It is the largest in the Tartu County.[3] A hiking track is laid through the park and it is integral to the Alatskivi Nature Reserve. Two reservoirs have been created on the Alatskivi River. There is a large boulder at the extreme end of the park in Kõdesi Forest where Apollo Belvedere's statue existed in the past, although the statue has been shifted to Kadriorg Park in Tallinn.[3] The main castle is surrounded by many stone buildings. During the 19th century, the manor had 57 buildings, of which 41 remain.[9] These are grouped in four areas connected by roads. The first contains the castle, coaching house and cheese cellar; the second, the economic circle, contains the laundry, kitchen, stables and sheds; the third or border circle, contains the barn, mills, church and cemetery; the distant fourth circle contains the Apollo Belvedere statue and the final resting place of the Estonian folklore figure Kalevipoeg.[9]

Alatskivi Castle


  1. ^ Bain 2009, p. 126.
  2. ^ a b "Alatskivi Castle". Estonian Convention Bureau. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Procedure of Protection Alatskivi Manor Kaitsekord" (PDF). DEVEPARK. Keskkonnaamet (Estonian Environment Agency). Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Maunder 1993, p. 197.
  5. ^ Hudson 1901, p. 178.
  6. ^ a b c Presser & Baker 2012, p. 98.
  7. ^ Hinsberg 1999, p. 97.
  8. ^ a b c d "Eduard Tubin – a honorary guest of Alatskivi castle". Official website of Alatskivi Loss. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "History". Official website of the Alatskivi Loss. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 

External links[edit]