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

Pilgrim’s route

Aru Mansion

The smeary park and the decomposing Manor House – this are unfortunately that picture which appearing here, at the same time romantic and sad. The better days of the Aru Mansion are passed far away a long time ago.

For the first time the Aru Mansion (Arrohof) was marked in annals 1582. On the 17th century, the Mansion belonged to the Sparre noble family from Sweden. In the middle of the 19th century, after several exchanges of owners, von zur Mühlen bought the Aru Mansion. In the Aru Manor House was born the well-known Baltic-German painter Rudolf Julius von zur Mühlen (1845–1913), author of the altar paintings of the Kambja and Rannu Churches, which both stays on ours Pilgrimages Road.
In 1913, Estonian Jaan Prüüs bought the Mansion. The Prüüs family still owned the Mansion central part, also after the nationalization of the Estonian manorial estates, in 1919.

During the Second World War, the collections of the Estonian Ethnographic Museum were kept in cellars of the Aru Manor House. After the war, Erumäe School was in the Manor House. In 1992, the Manor House and 250 hectares of land were returned to the daughter of Jaan Prüüs, Mall Kirsipuu, who began to rebuild the property, but her tragic death finished all the plans. On meanwhile the Mansion has also been on sale.


The older part of the Manor’s main building is probably built in the second half of the 18th century and the later part, in early of the 19th century in style of classicism. At the end of the 19th century was added the eclectic verandas. In the 1960s, to the yard’s side facade was added an annexed building from concrete slabs and silicate bricks, for the School.

The large red brick Granary, with beautiful arched and cross-hinged ventilation openings has been preserved, which is partly restored in 2000 and also the Ruler’s House and Dairy.

At the end of the 18th century, was established baroque style Manor Park, located on the high bank of Kavilda River, in the valley.

About 1.5 km from the Manor and from the Kentsi artificial lake (lake is now empty), is von zur Mühlen Family Cemetery, which is hard to find from dense shrubbery. The stone walls are broken and the graves are looted burial marks. Let’s them rest in peace, probably it happens soon also with the Mansion.


However, we will continue the Pilgrimage Route.

Daila Aas in August, 2018