Worth seeing in Haapsalu and Läänemaa

In the romantic small town of Haapsalu and small villages, hospitable people await you, surprising you with their sincerity and interest in history and culture. The guests who stayed here are remembered again and again with great respect.

Haapsalu Resort Hall

The timber-laced Kuursaal resort hall and the bandstand on the seaside promenade were built at the end of the 19th century and are the only ones of the kind that have survived in their original shape. From the first half of the 20th century until present day, the resort hall has been the centre of summer activities in Haapsalu. Interesting to know: in 1898, the house was practically under water; later, the small coves of the bay on both sides of the building were filled and the embankment got its present shape. The resort hall with the bandstand was a favourite place of the Russian emperor’s court and the aristocracy from St. Petersburg. During the Soviet time, the resort hall was used as a storehouse. National Register of Cultural Monuments

Haapsalu linn, Haapsalu, Promenaadi tänav 1

St Olav’s Church in Vormsi

Vormsi church which dates back to the 14th century and is the main memento of its history and culture – is located in the centre of the island, in Hullo. The church was unused for a long time after the Swedish escaped from the island in the end of World War II. The church was dedicated again on Olav’s Day in 1990. Be sure to take a look at the characteristic square-shaped nave and have look at the old ceiling paintings in the altar room. Interesting facts: The first church in Vormsi was a wooden church. * St. Olav’s church in Vormsi is unique for the fact that it has no belfry, the bell hangs above the door under the high ridge. * There are two gnarled pine trees at the gate of the church – this is the place where the pillory stood.

Hullo küla, Vormsi vald

Haapsalu Railway Station

This resort town was a favourite summer spot of the Russian tsars. The railway station was built according to the original designs with the complex consisting of four parts –  the passenger terminal, imperial pavilion, a sheltered passage linking those, and a unique covered platform extending 216 m long. Good to know: the Russian Tsar himself was in favour of the idea of building the station and supported its construction. The first passenger train arrived in Haapsalu in 1904 and the last one left in 1995. Take advantage of a unique opportunity to travel from Haapsalu to Riisipere (50 km) by bike as the old railway bed has been turned into Lääne County health trail. Today, there is a bus stop in front of the railway station. The station belongs in the National Register of Cultural Monuments.  

Haapsalu linn, Haapsalu, Raudtee tänav 2

Lyckholm Museum and Saare Manor

The Museum of Lyckholm is situated in the stables of Saare manor. It was restored in 1995 and gives you an overview of the history of Noarootsi. It focuses on Estonian first independence period between 1918 to 1940. It also displays a collection of old domestic- and farming tools, which emphasises the collaboration between Esonians, Swedes, Germans and Finns living in the area. Good to know: Have you seen fossils dated to silur period? Come and have a look!

Saare küla / Lyckholm, Lääne-Nigula vald

Ungru Manor ruins

Ungru Manor is one of the most impressive neo-baroque buildings in Estonia, although the castle was never fully completed. It is an imposing building, which is an almost exact copy of the Merseburg Castle in Germany. Behind the construction of the manor was a sad love story: Count Ungern-Sternberg fell in love with the daughter of the lord of Merseburg Castle, who had promised to spend her entire life in Merseburg Castle. The count promised to build an exact replica of the building and she agreed to move there. However, the construction stopped when the count’s lover suddenly fell ill and died. These are mystical ruins in a beautiful place, making it a wonderful place for taking pictures!

Kiltsi küla, Haapsalu

Tchaikovsky’s Bench in Haapsalu

The world-famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky stayed in Haapsalu in 1867. To commemorate him, a memorial bench was erected on the Šokolaadi Promenaad (Chocolate Promenade), where the maestro loved to watch the sunrise from the shore and marvel at the swans. Interesting to know: in Haapsalu, Tchaikovsky continued to work on his opera ‘Voyevoda’ and composed the cycle of piano pieces ‘Souvenir de Hapsal.’ After having heard the Estonian folk song “Dear Mary”, he later used the melody in his famous VI Symphony, the first notes of the tune were also carved into the dolomite memorial bench. Today, the bench is equipped with a technical solution with the aid of which you can listen to the composer’s music and information related to him.

Haapsalu linn, Haapsalu, Pjotr Tšaikovski puiestee