The town of Põltsamaa, Jõgeva County, is making preparations for the partial reconstruction and opening to the public of the ruins of its castle. Visitors can in fact already visit the castle's yard.
The local museum and tourism information center has been refurbished by the Põltsamaa rural municipality government. A new permanent exhibition is also being opened to museum visitors. Before the museum was built, a consumer cooperative vegetable depot was located there but the rooms were refurbished to build the museum a few years ago, reports ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK).
The town of Põltsamaa has a unique history, AK said, and is always open to visitors.
Lembit Paal, board member at Põltsamaa municipal property (Põltsamaa Vallavara), explained that a number of historically important people have lived here. He added: "The birth of first Estonian flag, the Alexander School (Aleksandrikool) and castle cover most parts of the exhibition."
Põltsamaa has waited for a long time for the partial reconstruction of the castle. In addition to this, they have been dreaming of opening the castle to tourists. The State Support Services Center (Riigi tugiteenuste keskus) allocated €2.5 million for the reconstruction, and the municipality of Põltsamaa added €400,000.
Kristi Klaos, the head of the Põltsamaa rural municipality planning department, said: "The restoration of the gatehouse, insulation and visitor building will cost about €3 million. We are planning to open the tower of the castle and restore as many castle walls as we can. The plan for restoring the walls is that visitors can go inside there and explore the exhibition."
The project tender will be announced by the rural municipality government. The tower will be restored to its original form during the construction work that will begin next spring. A brief tour of the ruins of the medieval castle, later turned rococco palace, demonstrates that it is high time to save it, AK reported.
Paal said: "The whole castle complex has been in ruins before, since 1941, and the wish of the residents of Põltsamaa city and municipality has been that the complex gets restored. In 2023, a new, totally different, the picture opens up for the visitors and residents. We also have an idea to build a new stage and café area. There is a lot to do and I hope it will be a great place to entertain people."
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein, Andrew Whyte