How it began

Main activities

Põltsamaa Museum is an organization operating under Põltsamaa Vallavara OÜ. It was founded in 1997, later, tourist information point was added. The museum is located in Põltsamaa castle yard. Due to our location, we often introduce the castle and the church to our visitors, but we also offer guide service in whole Põltsamaa municipality.

The main collection of the museum consists of over 5000 photos and 4000 objects. About 7000-8000 tourists visit us each year. In addition to permanent exhibitions, we also organize temporary exhibitions to show different things from our collections and gladly expose exhibitions outside. We have published 6 brouchures and 2 books about Põltsamaa’s history.

Sometimes we find ourselves in rather unexpected situations. It was quite a weird feeling, when we received a letter from Europe’s Council in Brussels – they wanted to know about the owner of Uue-Põltsamaa manor, Jakob Heinrich von Lilienfeld and his works. In Brussels, they were compiling a book which told about people contributing to the idea of a united Europe. “Europe giving shape to an idea” is probably the book with the largest print-run and distribution area, and also the heaviest, where you can read thank-you words to Põltsamaa Museum. So, we have managed to introduce Põltsamaa to the whole world.

Word “world” brings us to the world “space”. We have been guides to world-famous cosmonauts Aleksei Leonov and Georgi Gretško. As a Põltsamaa-themed room in hotell Estoria says – what could be more special than knowing that apples, berrias and other fruits from Põltsamaa gardens turned out to be the first space food in the world!

Looking back, it is difficult to tell, if we’d ever found out about the first tircolor sweing in Põltsamaa, if it wasn’t for the reasearch Heino Joost and Einor Hiob had done. We will always be grateful to these men and have celebrated the jubilees of Estonian flag since 2009. The procession-concert “The birth of the flag” was probably the most crowded event of Põltsamaa in 2014. We also contribute in summer plays “Tales of Põltsamaa”.

How it began

The statue of Põltsamaa Museum Association was signed on the 9th of March 1928. At that time, Karl Vervolt and August Kisla lead the process ad the museum. In the beginning, the exhibits were gathered in Vervolt’s home at Nurme street, house no 18 nowadays.

Soon, museum got two of the most fanciest halls into its hands. The same halls that you can see from old postcars: marble and roccoco hall. They also managed to repair the castle thanks to the money gathered from the ticket sale and Ministry of Education. Where is this glory now? In 1941 the castle was under fire and only an old herding trumpet was left. The trumpet was borrowed to the local firemen and was not returned back in time. So the trumpet was not in the museum in 1941 and that is why we can still see it in nowadays museum. It found its way back to the re-established museum in 1997, when Aleksei Katmaa brought it as a gift. So the herding trumpet should be about 170 years old.

The people in young Estonian Republic wanted to know and spread their history, the same way it was during Estonian awakening time. Likewise, peole decided during the 1980s, that our stories cannot be faded away. The Soviet time had been long – also a ong time without a local museum. During the new awakening time, it took about then years before founding the museum again. It was done by consistent and all-around dedication that included preparation works and pressurising.

The effort by the Heritage Protection Assosication was carreied on by local History Association. At first, Heino Joost started a museum room at his own home in Võhma village. Helle Kull gathered all the historical information she could get. Also, the library and members of local hobby school groups took ot very seriously to pass information from older generations to younger ones. They organized the collection of old things and exhibits, also exhibitions, hikes and excursions, published historical brochures.

Although there were people who tought that there is no need for a museum – that the exhibits should be sent to bigger museums in Tartu and Tallinn – it was still founded. In the summer of 1997 museum setteled at Põltsamaa castle yard in a storage buliding. Thanks to Tiiu Pihlakas, Heino Joost, Eha Tralla, Aime Martinsoo, Tiiu Truumees and Jüri Pärna the museum was started again and works til nowadays in the same building.