In Estonian

The Ravila Manor Park, which has survived until today, was likely established in the late 18th or early 19th century, possibly associated with the expansion of the manor complex in the 1770s. According to Swedish-era maps from the late 17th century, the main house was located a few dozen meters west of its current position. Behind the house was a square ornamental garden, likely with a square courtyard in front of it. The entire area was enclosed by a fence.

Ravila Manor Complex in the 1694 Plan.

Ravila Manor Complex in the 1694 Plan of Kose Parish, Ravila, and Palvere Manors.

The later manor house was built in its current location, and a landscape-style park was created around it. The spatial composition of the park exhibits certain elements that are characteristic of the transition from baroque to landscape-style in this context. The park is oriented almost north-south (northwest-southeast), and its main section is clearly divided into a front and back courtyard, connected by a central axis aligned with the main house.

The arrangement of buildings in the front courtyard forms a typical Π-shaped layout, reminiscent of a baroque ensemble. A front courtyard is formed between the buildings and extends northwards from the main house. However, the front courtyard does not have a circular design but features a semi-circular driveway, indicating the presence of two gates (neither of which is located on or can be located on the central axis), which is more characteristic of classical park design. The utility garden remained in the northwest corner of the park and was associated with a greenhouse.

Another notable feature, in line with the baroque spirit, is the main house’s back staircase providing a clear view towards the Pirita River along the park’s central axis.

View of the Back Courtyard of Ravila Manor, with arrows indicating two main viewing directions.

View of Ravila Manor from the Pirita River in 1900.

View from the Staircase of Ravila Manor to the Pirita River in 1900.

When comparing the Swedish-era maps to a verstakaart or a 1924 map, it becomes apparent that the valley of the Pirita River was straightened in such a way that a roughly 200-meter-long parallel-sided channel was created along the central axis.

Ravila Manor and Park in the early 20th century (including the manor house and the axial alignment with the river.

The spatial layout and axial alignment of the park.

Water features in the park.

The park’s landscaping incorporated elements characteristic of early English style, such as circular plantings on elevated areas, consisting of masses of oak trees in the eastern part of the park, and tree rows along the roadsides. Some remnants of straight pathways remain, along with numerous large old trees that form straight and curved rows of 3-4 trees.

The park’s composition was based on the presence of large deciduous trees, mainly common oak and common ash, arranged in groups, with contrasting groups of common spruce. Notably, there was a stand of spruce trees on the eastern bank of the Pirita River canal around the turn of the century. Accent trees from exotic species were also used, as evidenced by the presence of a large-sized European walnut tree southeast of the main house.

The area surrounding the main house was designed in a regular and relatively open manner. Lawn areas predominantly featured individual accent shrubs. In the center of the front courtyard, within the circular driveway, there was an open lawn, flanked by medium-sized shrub plantings established in 1905. Triangular areas to the east and west of the circular driveway were filled with deciduous tree plantings. The circular driveway was transformed into straight diagonal pathways in the 1920s. Two larger trees symmetrically positioned near the front facade, along with another larger tree near the southeast corner of the main house, served as focal points. Granite posts, typically found in Estonian manor parks in the second half of the 19th century, were placed along the edges of the pathways in the front courtyard. The entrance was marked by gates, and the posts have survived to this day.

Granite posts in the front courtyard in 1938.

View of the Back Courtyard in the 1910s. In the foreground, there is a sculpture that is currently located in the Kose Church Museum.

Ravila Manor Park is protected as a natural and cultural heritage site, with a current area of approximately 12 hectares.

Protected part of the park area.

Ravila Manor Park’s protected park area positioning scheme, along with related cultural heritage sites.

The cultural heritage site is indicated in blue, and the approximate extent of the protective zones for the designated objects is shown in yellow. The project area aligns with the boundaries of the cultural heritage site. In 2014, Artes Terrae prepared special conditions for heritage conservation to develop a reconstruction project for Ravila Manor Park.

Ravila Manor Reconstruction Project 2014.

Money Pit, where a stash of coins was reportedly found in September 1936 in Ravila Manor Park.