Thursday, 21.09.2017

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Järva county


Järva County can be counted as the heart of Estonia, despite of the fact that geographically the County is located more in North-Estonia. The centre of Järva County is the historic town of Paide.


Järva County offers numerous manors, museums, sights and various activities.


There are 8 historical churches, 6 of which are erected in 13th-14th century, mostly in gothic style. Therefore Ambla, Koeru, Järva-Peetri, Järva-Madise and Järva-Jaani churches are worth mentioning.  Paide (19th to 20th century) and Anna (from 1776) churches date from later periods.


Järva-Jaani, Järva-Madise and Järva-Peetri are small „Järva-county-like“ hamlets and all proud, as old church centers,  to wear the historical prefix Järva-.


Järva County has a rich manor heritage, but as time has done its part, many of the manors are no longer there. The manors were mostly erected in the 18th and 19th century and the ones used as schools after the nationalization of the manors are best preserved. Less-known are Aruküla and Sargvere manors. Aruküla manor in Koeru was erected already in 17th century. The main building (from 1830-s) including governor’s house’s dwell and the dwell house, manor park and the slightly further located von Tolli’s family chapel form the manor complex. The 2-storied main building from limestone has a classicistic facade and houses the Koeru School.


Sagevere manor from 1722 (knight’s manor) is situated in Peetri. The stone main building was erected in 1760-s, some of the great rococo stuck-ceilings have preserved (nowadays a library). Not much is left of the great honor-square and manor park. Following historical manors are worth visiting: Eivere (beautiful and restored neo-gothic castle with the possibility for accommodation, meetings and celebrations), Albu (one of the oldest Order manors in Estonia and the biggest in Järva County; today - school), Roosna-Alliku at the heights of Pandivere and located at the edge of Kõrvemaa (considered as one of the most beautiful manor houses in Estonia; today – school) or Laupa manor (the main house is considered to e one of the best examples of manor construction of the 20th century in Estonia; built in 1914 under the influence of the style of retro-art nouveau; today – school).


To speak about the natural pearls of Järva County, one should visit the Endla natural reserve with many for central Estonia typical marshes, marsh islands and karst-wells. The centre of the natural reserve, however, is located in Jõgeva County, in Tooma village. Hiking friends will find several good and well-marked trails and many different sources, as Norra, Sopa and Oostriku.


You can experience more modern farm culture in the Sassi Ostrich Farm. For change you can visit the Karinu glass cottage (glass-making) and the Kiigeland thematic swing-park.


Visit the center of Järva County, city of Paide. The castle in Paide was historically called Wittenstein or the white stone, with reference to the white color of the mighty Order castle. The construction of the castle started already in the 12th century and by the end of the century, Paide had become one of the most important military centers of the German Order. Paide suffered heavily in medieval wars and its military importance faded by 18th century as part of the Russian Empire as center of Järva district. Paide church was constructed in 1786 and the Paide courthouse some years later. Next century brought a hospital and an orthodox church to the city. The castle hill was rearranged by the end of the 19th century, as well as the historical castle tower (the ‘Vallitorn’), which was blown up by the Soviets in the II World War. The years of the “1st” republic brought several functional-style buildings to Paide and luckily, the city was not heavily damaged in the last war. Nevertheless, many of historical wooden buildings in the centre were demolished in the post-war years and replaced by modern, faceless blockhouses.