Written by Tiit Lepik
Photos Toomas Tuul
Lahemaa National Park is the first national park in Estonia, established on June 1, 1971. It was quite unique in the Soviet era: workers’ collectives from all over Estonia donated assets to the Lahemaa National Park Foundation.
Palmse manor is a symbol of Lahemaa and Estonian nature conservation. However, in the present difficult times Palmse Manor is managed by SA Virumaa Museums, and the Estonians with whose collected money the manor was restored, must now pay to walk in the park. Even the barons of Palmse in their days were renowned for allowing the peasants to walk in the park.
Nõmmeveski waterfall. Presently a somewhat neglected ensemble. The power plant channel has lately broken down completely. But the ancient valley with the stream is splendid as ever.
Jaani-Tooma big rock. The king of the Lahemaa rocks in its time. No better option could be viewed then, because the Tammispea errant boulder, possibly even more splendid, was in the seashore border zone, and people could not be admitted there.
Lahemaa has changed. Beside Palmse manor Sagadi and Vihula have emerged in their glory; people have also changed. The persons who currently manage Lahemaa know nothing about the early days of the National Park, or about the people who put their souls into the restoration and construction work. Since a long time already the archives of the National Park have been scattered. Time will show whether this loss of memory is for good or bad.
One history of the Lahemaa National Park can be read in magazine Eesti Loodus, written by Teet Koitjärv (http://www.eestiloodus.ee/artikkel3873_3850.html, 2011, in Estonian).