Tourism / Museums and Estates / Kiltsi Castle and Admiral`s room. Park and Nature Trail

Eesti Vabariik 100
Georg Lurich
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Vao stronghold tower-museum
Kiltsi Castle and Admiral`s room. Park and Nature Trail
Väike-Maarja Museum

Kiltsi Castle and Admiral`s room. Park and Nature Trail

The front side of the manor house

Kiltsi Manorial Estate
Kiltsi Manorial Estate of Laane-Viru County, founded at the end of the 18th century, is one of the most magnificentThe stone marking the castle in the park and original manor estates in Estonia as well as one of the oldest in the Baltic countries. The castle was erected on the ruins of a medieval vassal stronghold from the 14th - 15th centuries. Although the stronghold in Kiltsi was small, without an inner court, its connection with the military events of the 16th century was remarkable. The most notable encounter at Kiltsi took place during the Livonian War, in the winter of 1558, between the troops of the Livonian Order and Russia. Old walls of the stronghold - Later extensionsThe Kiltsi landlord, Robrecht von Gilsen, organized effective resistance during this battle. By the end of the Livonian War, the stronghold lay in ruins and by 1600 it was no longer mentioned as a fortification.

The Gilsen family gave the estate its characteristically German name GILSENHOF.

The Benckendorffs' coat of arms above the front door of the castle In the 17th and 18th centuries, Kiltsi was owned by several families, including the Asserini family, the Uexkulls, the Zoege von Manteuffels and the Rosens. In 1784 Major Hermann Johann von Benckendorff became the owner of the Kiltsi Estate. He constructed a new manor house in the early classical style, blending the new buildings with the old stronghold structures. Two crescent wings were added to the manor house to soften the ponderous style of architecture inherent to the former stronghold. The Benck endorff's coat of arms still decorates the façade of the castle.

Kiltsi Castle from a bird's-eye view (E. Grensmann)Admiral Adam Johann von Krusenstern became the owner of Kiltsi Castle in the early 19th century. The famous navigator and scientist holds a special place in our history. A.J. von Krusenstern was the leader of the first Russian voyage around the world (1803 - 1806). He was involved in preparing and leading many sea expeditions. During 1816 to 1822, the Admiral lived full time at Kiltsi. He compiled his "Atlas of the South Seas" while living at Kiltsi, as well as other important works. The atlas was the most accurate collection of charts drafted of the Pacific Ocean up to the beginning of the 20th century.

Admiral A. J. von KrusensternThe Admiral died at Kiltsi in 1846. He was buried at the Tallinn Dome Church by special order of the Russian Tsar Nikolai I. The Krustenstern family burial plot is in the Väike-Maarja churchyard.

The Krustenstern family owned Kiltsi until the beginning of the 20th century. Since 1920, the castle has housed a primary school, allowing the historical sight to survive.It has been under restoration since 1994. The inner rooms of the wings have been renovated. The restoration is going on in the main building. The facade and the park are waiting their order.

Stairs in the castle, original engravings of the voyage around the world on the walls In 1993 the teachers at Kiltsi School founded the ADAM JOHANN von KRUSENSTERN FUND. The purpose of the non-profit fund is castle renovation, development of the manor estate and the perpetuation of the memory of Admiral Krusenstern at Kiltsi.

The motto of the fund is a short Latin phrase borrowed from the Admiral's cost of arms: SPE FRETUS - RELYING UPON HOPE

Admiral's room
On 19 November, 1995, 225 years had passed since the birth of Admiral A.J. von Krusenstern.The exihibition in the admiral`s room The A.J. von Krusenstern Fund celebrated this event on 16 November with the opening of a memorial room in the Kiltsi Castle. Krusenstern family representatives took part in the ceremony, including Katharina von Schnehen, from Germany, a sixth generation lineal descendant.
The memorial room, situated in one of the round towers of the castle, displays materials of the life and activities of A.J. von Krusenstern (1770 - 1846), his son Paul Theodor von Krusenstern (1809 - 1881), and grandson Otto Paul von Krusenstern (1834 - 1871). There are remarkable and rare items in the memorial room, including:
The model of a military-ship the end of the 18th century· A plate that Krusenstern brought with him from England in 1814
· An original lithograph made of the Admiral in France in the first half of the 19th century
· 22 original copperplates made for the atlas of Admiral von Krusenstern's voyage around the world

The Park and the Nature Trail
The Spring of FortuneThe park of the Kiltsi Estate was first designed by A. J. von Krusenstern as a free-style English park.

The Spring of Fortune with its limestone walls is worth noting. The pond needs restoration. The ruins of a water-mill from the 16th century are seen on the other side of the pond. A path hedged with gooseberries from the manor-times leads to the famous Dog's Stone. The yew-tree, the Siberian fir, the Sakhalin polygonum, the vineyard snail and even the beaver can be found in the park. The pond and the ruins of the water-millThere is an ancient oak-tree in front of the manor house.

A 2-km nature trail with 20 view-points leads through the park and the surroundings of the estate. Some information can be found on the boards at the view-points (a guide and work-sheets of the path from Kiltsi School).

The Holy Oak The Dog's Stone in honour of a dog of a lady of the manor

Kiltsi manor is opened 365 days a year by booking
phone: (+372) 5340 2114 or (+372) 529 1149
e-mail: or

In summer 2012 manor is opened (without booking):
25.june - 20. august  Wed- Sun 10.00-18.00
21. august - 31.august Mon-Fri 8.00-18.00

Groups and guide (eng, fin, rus, swe, ger) needs to be booked.

A ticket in the Kiltsi Castle:
Adults: 2 eur 
Students:1 eur
Family: 4 eur
Groups (from 20 per): 1,5 eur
Guide: 10,00 eur

Kiltsi Põhikool
Liivaküla village
Väike-Maarja parish
Lääne-Virumaa  Country 46 201  
Phone +372 5340 2114 
Phone  +372 53 401

Adam Johann von Krusenstern MTÜ
A/a 1120293181 Hansapank 767