A Spiritual and Cultural-Historical Journey
from Pirita to Vana-Vastseliina

Pilgrim’s route

From Järva-Madise to Seidla manor


We are standing at the Järva-Madise crossroads and head towards Kihme.


In about one km, we see Albu or Koltsi dairy on the right side of the road.

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Koltsi dairy, ab. 1935. Photo: René Viljat’s private collection.

Koltsi dairy belonged to the joint enterprise founded by farmers in 1910, the Albu Milk Cooperative. The ground floor was made of fieldstones, the first was wooden and accommodated offices.

The cooperative celebrated its 25 years of existence, being the oldest dairy in Järva County. The offices are about one kilometre from Järva-Madise church on the land donated to the dairy. The building cost 14 000 roubles, equipment 8000 roubles.
Among other products, the dairy exports butter and casein, which have won numerous awards. The dairy's capital this year is 68 000 crowns, and although last year saw a thorough renovation, the enterprise is still going strong.” (Source: Ühistegelised Uudised, no. 5, 1 February 1935)


In 1939 the auxiliary building of the dairy with a storage, firewood shed and stables, burnt down. The dairy itself was saved by the firefighters’ quick response.

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After the dairy we cross the road, past the railway barrier on to the gravel road.
Pilgrims are allowed to ignore the sign of the private road so we can move on. The site of the former Aru inn by the road, also the one-time Seidla-Aru forestry station. We pass a house by the road. A short walk in the forest, and then an alley of trees leads us to Seidla manor.



Seidla (Seydell) manor was first mentioned in written sources in 1639. For a long time it belonged to the Mohrenschildt family and later to the Vietinghoffs. From 1884 until the manors were nationalised in 1919 it belonged to von Schillings.
A school operated in the manor between 1921 and 1973.
The two-storey late Baroque mansion with a high hip roof was established in the 1760s–1780s. The mansion faces the park. The interior planning is symmetrical, with rooms aligned with each other (enfilade). All rooms on the ground floor have groined vault ceilings. The plan of the main floor repeats the placement of the ground floor: the central formal rooms – the hall and the dining room – are connected by sliding doors with Rococo carved decor. The barn with an arcade by the central square was restored in the late 1980s, stables-coach house are in ruins. Ice-cellar and distillery have survived.
In 1996 Seidla manor was purchased by the family enterprise Tsunftijänes who restore and sell old furniture. The park is partially tidied up, the manor is secured. A popular antiques fair has been organised in the park for over twenty years.
The manor is currently on sale.

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A few hundred metres from the manor complex on the other side of the road is Seidla windmill. The Dutch-type mill was built at the end of the 18th century.


In the early 1920s Willem Jamnes bought the mill from Seidla manor. The windmill produced flour until 1962, and was still working, now on electricity, in the 1990s.
In 1991 his grandfather’s farm together with the mill was returned to Lembit Jamnes. After his death in 1997 the windmill was abandoned.

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In 2005 the mill was bought by the company Seidla Tuuleveski (Seidla Windmill). The mill was restored, is working once again and is open to visitors. It is listed as an architectural monument.


MTÜ Seidla Tuuleveski. Seidla village, Albu rural municipality, Järva County. Hannu Lamp, Tel. 5141800; hannu@seidlatuulik.ee

Daila Aas, August 2019