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Aa Care House



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Aa Care Home - General information

Aa Care Home is active as care institution starting 1924.
AA Care Home located in North - East of Estonia, in naturalistically beautiful location near the sea, the beach is within walking distance. Care home is surrounded with a beautiful National Park, beach and hiking roads give also a good walking opportunity. Care home owns 52 ha of land which also includes beach.

Complex of buildings includes classicistic style main building, which was originally built in the second half of the 18th century and restored in 90s, chapel, living quarters built in 1981, modern automatic boiler house and other buildings.

The inhabitants have modern living quaters at their disposal, medical nurse's and procedures rooms are located there, also a wide dining hall, library and relaxing rooms. Medical care is provided 24 hours, a doctor and dentist make their visits once a week. A little shop is open, where different food and personal care products are available with reasonable price.

We live as a friendly family. Pastor visits the institution once a month, we celebrate birthday parties and invite performers over. We also celebrate other occasions - Victory Day, Christmas, Easter, etc. During the summer we visit concerts, theater, organize picnics - all together.

The inhabitant can bring along his own furniture, if he wishes to do so.

We send our inhabitants to the sanatorium, if the possibility comes up.

Care home is not meant only for elderly people, we take care of younger people also.

Our future plans include building a section for handicapped youngsters, where among everything else domestic science, manual training and preparation for independent life would be taught.

A little history of Aa village and estate

Aa village is first mentioned on 1240, where the "Danish Evaluation Book" notes 13 ploughlands as its size and priest Eilardus as village owner. The fact, that three more villages from the same area were feodalized to this priest by the Danish king, leads us to believe, that the possibility of building a convent was considered. The fact, that Eilardus left those villages later to the Kärkna convent, serves as a great support to that supposition. Aa village stayed in possession of Kärtna convent until 1426.
Even though, the convent was never built, most likely a chapel and monk's economy estate were located in Aa village. The monks built a road through swampy area that was situated between Aa and Kohtla to keep connection between their extensive possessions. Road was known as a "Monk Road" during the Middle Ages.

Name of Aa village creates some curiosity. "Danish Evaluation Book" states it under the name of Hazae ("z" pronounces as k and "ae" as a or e), further Hacke, Häcke, Haka, Hakala, Haakülla. The word "haka" translates to two meanings in Finnish and Karelian - corral and hook. Both are "borrowed" words from Old Scandinavia. The history of Aa village can reach back to long cultivated field era transmission period, where the fallow assart fields were first surrounded with the fence and by that changed to corrals temporarily. This makes Aa village a memorial of those ancient times.

The estate originated here relatively early - according to historians' calculations between 1426 and 1497 and cromlechs and cult stones under protection today, indicate that there have been settlements in Aa since ancient times already. Aa seemed to have an outstanding position back then already, it became one of the Order Centers that was subordinate to Narva bailiff.

Aa did not survive easily from the Livonian War that started on 1558 and long time period of confusions thereafter - the whole countryside was in ruins. Peaceful times came only after king Gustav II Adolf registered the possession to Georg von Wangersheim on summer of 1630 (estate remained in possession of his family until the end of 18th century).

Aa masters remained to live in timber house for a long time period, much nicer stone castle was built under the supervision of building expert from Tallinn Peter Jonas, during 1696 - 1698. The castle, by its planning and shape, looked more or less the same as some other estate buildings from the ending time period of Swedish power (for example Palmse and Maardu were built at the same time period as above mentioned building). Having said that, very few buildings have remained from Swedish time all over Estonia. Number of most important ones is less than ten.

Pleasure garden was probably founded at the same time as the main building. As the decending terraces behind the manor house leading to the pools at the verge of limestone bank offered good opportunities for that. Wangersheims were not able to enjoy their new house for long - with The Great Northern War (1700 - 1721) starting, Aa fell among plunderers as other estates in Virumaa.

Generally it took decades to overcome the war disruptions. Axel von Wangersheim (who was a Lieutenant General by rank and the Commandant of Riga for some time period), was able to put Aa estate more or less in shape by the end of decade of 1720s. Exclusively beautiful tiled stoves decorated with cobalt were very common in main buildings at that time (about 1723), we can see one example of them in Kadriorg's former "Pleasure House". The cabinetmakers found themthelves occupied with load of work: Tobias Schamer and J.G. Borchardt have been active here as well as Johann Ulrich Rumber who came from Germany on 1753, etc.

More extensive building of estate took place at the end of 18th century. Since the old master house was becoming too confined, it was enlarged with flanks under the management of master Christian Gottlieb Walther, also some changes were made to the facade by giving it a classicistic solution. Wonderful wind flags (similar to the wind flags on Narva City Hall building) have the shape of a stark and decorate pediment of the building, come from the same time period and serve as a good example. Early classicistical carve - decorated front door comes from the same time period.

We can see, that life quality was very good in Aa during those times. We know, that number of staff of servants (from kitchen maid to the coachman) in the estate was as high as 66 in 1782. The estate also owned a little port - groups of people paddled a boat, decorated with Chinese laterns and oak garlands, out to the sea on several peaceful summer nights.

Naturally, the 19th century brought along some additions to the estate building. A number of economical buildings come from that time period (houses for the farm hands receiving their wages in kind, where nowadays the apartments, belonging to the care home, are located). Wood lacy porches of the master house come from the same time period.

The estate was in possession of Grünewaldts during the later decades before expropriation: last known owner was Otto von Grünewaldt, a wrighter one of the best known Russian classical literature translators to German language.

The estate was fully active until 1919, when the nationalization took place. Few years later the estate lands were divided into small holdings. Starting 1924, the care institution is active in the estate building.

First clients were brought in as early as December 1923, the official opening ceremony took place in January 1924. In 1999, care home celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Aa estate ensemble is under national protection from 1979 as architectural memento. Scenic preserved Aa park is known for its variety of trees.

Restoration works started in 1987 - 1988. Former pavilion in the western side of the park was chosen as a first restoration object. This choice was not made because this little park chapel from the end of 18th century was the smallest of all buildings, but it was also in the most pathetic condition. The pavilion had been there abjected, with dilapidated plaster and leaking vaults, for years. In summer of 1988, the restorated pavilion was turned over to care home (author of the project Ü.Saar, interior decoration K.Roosi) - former pavilion began to serve its duty as a chapel

How to come and live here?

Necessary documentation:
Passport (in case of an aliens passport living permit is required)
Retirement certificate
Doctor's copy of illness history
Health insurance card
Letter of warrant for payments to the ones directed by the local government
Local contract and payment schedule in case of a private person

Each elderly person having a wish or desire, can become an inhabitant
Cost for one place is 14.50 EUR per day.