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Ilzenberg Manor, a place where the history of several nations is closely intertwined, is located in a hilly area near the northern border of Lithuania: 28 km north from Rokiškis and 17 km east from Nereta (Latvia). The Ilzenberg estate is surrounded by the Ilgis and Apvalasas lakes and 15 hectares of well-groomed English landscape gardens. The sculpture park „ Love-Harmony-Nobility “ founded in memory of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania's independence.
According to historical sources, Ilzenberg Manor was established in 1515 by the Livonian knight Berndt von Kersenboick; later, it was home to the Lithuanian Dimša family, the Romanian Maiorescu family and the German Heyck, von Korff, von Sacken and von Orgies-Rutenberg families. After it was rebuilt from ruins, this manor estate on the state border became a huge attraction for Lithuanian and Latvian tourists: in 2017 alone, it had more than 12,000 visitors who came to admire the authentic buildings of the ancient manor, to see cattle grazing freely and to taste locally grown and produced foods.
Ilzenberg Manor and farm cover more than 500 ha of land used for various purposes. A variety of cereal and bean crops, vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and spices are grown on the estate. It also has many cattle and sheep as well as chickens, ducks and geese. Ilzenberg Manor farm is the only farm in the Baltic states and one of the very few farms in the Northern countries that uses only natural farming principles. This means that all the products grown on the manor’s land are healthy and 100% organic.
Vaidas Barakauskas, the current owner of Ilzenberg Manor, has achieved his goal to restore the surviving buildings of the estate, rebuild their crumbling interiors and re-establish their authentic functions. The estate has undergone intensive reconstruction since December 2012 and is fully restored now.
Seven historical Ilzenberg Manor buildings were renovated: the manor house, servants’ quarters/ manager`s house, cowshed, stables, barn, smokery and sauna. Although the buildings were given new faces, the same materials from hundreds of years ago were used. The main focus was on the renovation of the manor house and its surviving cellars from the 18th century. It is a representational building intended for receiving guests, so it`s no wonder that this two-storey building of Neoclassical architecture features exclusive decorations both on its exterior and in its interior. On 3 September 2017, during the opening of the restored manor house, the estate was awarded a Certificate of Authenticity issued by the Department of Cultural Heritage and the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association.
Another exclusive building of the manor is a smokery built in the second half of the 19th century, which was a real rarity for manors of the era. Very soon, Ilzenberg Manor will invite its visitors to stay at a new guest house with an adjacent campsite, tent area and a beach.
One part of the Ilzenberg estate is dedicated to recreation and entertainment, while another part is used for natural agriculture, farm work and food processing. In summer, Ilzenberg Manor organises tours and hosts cultural and private events. Starting with 2018, various public festivals, camps and themed food tasting events will also be held in the manor.