Friend and family historian, Jānis Stundiņš, recently contacted me with information about the restoration of the old tea house at Elley in Latvia. This is where my great grandmother, Meta von Medem, was born and raised.
As you will see, a beautiful job. I am excited to see how far they will take this restoration project, as it has a lot of emotional value to our family. As you’ll read, it appears this is where this specific project will end. However, over the years (I have learned) there have been various owners of Elley who have embarked upon the restoration of the grounds. From what I understand, the actual manor houses (the main house is now just a few bricks laying around) are owned privately, and the surrounding land has been acquired by the municipality and it’s a public park.
Project “Restoration of Eleja Manor Premises”
Implementation period: 01.09.2014.-31.03.2016.
Project Promoter: Jelgava Local Municipality
Project Partner: The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)
Total costs of the project: 403 233,66 EUR, co-finances of EEA: 211 942,99 EUR, Latvian state co-finances: 37 401,70 EUR, finances of Jelgava Local Municipality: 153 888,97 EUR
Project objective: restoration and preservation of the architectural monument of national significance – Eleja Manor tea house and stone fence thus contributing to capacity building of restoration experts and renewing the public significance of culture heritage sites.
Target audience: residents, tourists, students of vocational schools, experts.
- Restoration and facilitation of tea house and of arch-shaped stone fence for safe use thereof;
- Summer school for restoration experts and hands-on traineeship for 15 restoration experts to-be;
- Experience exchange trip of experts to Norway;
- Project publicity and information events;
- Project administration and management.
Short description of the project
Eleja Manor and adjoining premises is an architectural monument of national significance, which once was an outstanding construction model in Europe. The tea house and stone fence, which are parts of the monument, currently are in extremely poor condition and are dangerous to visitors.
source: Municipality of Jelgavas
Some time ago already we informed that we have started work on Eleja Manor tea house restoration. Now the restoration works have been completed and the house took its original historical appearance. This time we look at the pictures, which shows how the house from the outside looks like now and how it looked before the evening we started to work. (source)
French artist Laurent de Komin (Laurent de commin), who traveled and captured many Latvian manors, Elejas tea house captured as follows. On the hut’s plight, he writes: “Precisely because the neglect and humidity almost destroyed, I wanted to travel back in time and imagine the atmosphere that prevailed at the time when here was a beautiful manor house, which was handed over to the owner in possession. The architect developed the project and promotions, created a mock-up and examined every detail, creating even porcelain tea set.” (source)
“Manor house is gone and the park oaks leads only to a small Elejas former glory, Medemi luxurious family property shares.
Precisely because the neglect and humidity almost destroyed, I wanted to travel back in time and imagine the atmosphere that prevailed at the time when here was a beautiful manor house, which was handed over to the owner in possession. The architect developed the project and promotions, created a mock-up and examined every detail, creating even porcelain tea set.
In this corner of the park ever it ruled a bright and sunny atmosphere of the East, which was probably caused by a trip to the Crimea. Here in 1860 the summer evenings in a warm and fragrant air, which felt cigar smoke flavor, discussed the latest news: for the newly assigned positions in court, for the upcoming ball neighborhood of Shuvalov and half aloud, for the unfortunate duel in St Petersburg. Gradually join the darkness and the air becomes cooler, forcing interlocutors to go indoors. And the tea house once again sink into the darkness of night schedule regular.
Everyone was convinced that drinking tea under these trees will continue every season.” (source: tournet.lv)