Baltic Manors – times of change
Manorial ownership and manorial life in the Baltic region have through the centuries been heavily influenced by movements of borders and movements of people across existing borders. In the 16th to 19th centuries noble families often moved from serving one sovereign to another and subsequently also bought or were given land in different countries and regions. Thus, the same families can be found all over the region, which was connected through the Baltic Sea – not divided by it.
Destructions and communism
During and after the Second World War many manors were destroyed in the eastern part of the region, where war unfolded. In the aftermath, communism was introduced in East Germany, Poland and the Baltic states, which meant a huge transformation in ownership, of land and the means of production. After 1989 – when the German wall came down – a new transformation has begun. While lots of houses turn into ruins, because of their loss of function as community center, a tremendous number of manors were being rebuilt as estates became privately owned again. Most of them were turned into hotels, creating a new rural culture of country houses and manors. They choose between museums or cultural places, farmstay estates, boutique hotels, bed & breakfast, luxury hotels or holiday apartments to have a nice vacation, family gathering or an unforgettable wedding. Whereas in Denmark and Sweden most of the houses are still owned by the same families. The Manor House owner also have to face the challenges of modern times and the changes of modern agriculture turn out to be not as profitably as they were back then before the War. Modern Manor Houses offer culture, innovative products, or guest rooms and touristic facilities. Some Houses and castles are in public or private-public ownership and are run as museums.