Pidula manor

Approximately 11 kilometers from Kihelkonna towards Muistjala one's attention is drawn to a simple stone building with a tile roof. This is the main house of the Pidula manor. Because of its well thought out proportions and tasteful details, art historians consider this to be one of Estonia's most attractive baroque manor houses. It is believed that the building dates to the middle of the 18th century. The additions to the back of the building date to the beginning of the 19th century. The narrow molding under the eaves, the finely carved dolomite corner blocks, and the two-pillared front portico all add to the charm of the building.

The surrounding baroque style park makes the ensemble complete. Mature trees line straight allés that culminate at an artificial mound. The entire park is surrounded by the walls of the Pidula ring fort.

From Estonia's idependence in 1918 until 1970, the main building of the manor ("Herrenhaus") was occupied by the local primary school. Thereafter, the manor has stood empty, although subsequent owners - and there have been many of them - have made attempts to restore the building. The farmer living next to the manor has heroicially taken care of the park, initially without any compensation. Both Father and Son Kerkel are alumni of the school. The current Finnish owner maintains and repairs the manor as an entity, but since the premises are sizeable, it will take many years before the goals are reached.

Pidula is also considered to be the site of the oldest hospital on Saaremaa. According to chronicles, the German Order of Knights built a hospital on the "Western coast of Saaremaa, close to a good and popular port". The name "Pidula" may well come from the word "pidal" which meant both leprosy as well as hospital. It might be mentioned here that instances of leprosy were fairly common on Saaremaa well into the 19th century.

The former Pidula manor watermill is located a kilometer and a half from the manor, towards Kihelkonna. The two-story mostly wooden, but also partially of stone, building was constructed in 1809.