The oldest functioning industrial enterprise side by side with a hotbed of budding gardeners
We have reached the oldest functioning industrial enterprise in Estonia, the Räpina Paper Factory. In 1734, a paper mill using recycling technology was founded nearby.
Looking at the red-brick main building of the paper factory, we can imagine factory workers completing their tasks here 300 years ago, laying the foundations for the long and distinguished history of the present company. The main building of the paper factory, having undergone various types of reconstruction throughout its history, is one of the most remarkable examples of European industrial architecture.
Looking towards the small peninsula, over the pond, we can see the majestic Räpina Manor House or the Sillapää Castle (built between 1836 and 1847). From 1923 to 1924, the main building housed the agricultural class of the local secondary school, serving as the basis for the Räpina School of Horticulture. Currently, the first floor of the Sillapää Castle accommodates the Räpina Local Lore and Gardening Museum, as well as the Folk School of the Räpina Informal Adult Education Association. The renovated second floor of the castle houses the Räpina Music School.
Taking a stroll, visitors will come across the white-columned gazebo called the Kissing Temple. According to local folklore, couples that have pledged their love to each other inside the Kissing Temple will stay together for life.