The Lazdona Manor, located in the vicinity of the town of Madona, has a history dating back to the second half of the 16th century. It has changed hands several times over the centuries, each of which has left an indelible mark on the evolution of the building.
In the 17th century, the manor was owned by the Klebek family and then passed into the hands of the Budenbrock family in the 19th century. In 1862, the building had a new owner, Karl (von) Stankievitz, an educator from St. Petersburg who worked at the Gatchina Children’s Institute. Stankievitz ordered the construction of a new mansion overlooking the shore of Lake Lazdona. In 1890 the manor was rented by a representative of the Lievens family and from 1894 by Edgar von Strandmans.
In 1904, the manor passed into the hands of Theodor Johann (Janis) Schmidt, a railway engineer from the St. Petersburg Institute of Road Engineers. During the First World War, the mansion was converted into a hospital for soldiers, with Schmidt dedicating 5 rooms and 20 beds to the treatment of the wounded. Six of the 20 beds were maintained by T. Šmits at his own expense, while the rest of the funds were raised mainly by the Orthodox congregation of Lazdonas.
Transformation and Decline
After the founding of the Republic of Latvia, the Schmidt family moved to the country and, during the land reform, kept a significant part of the property (72.1 hectares, including 6 buildings). His father was still working at the Ministry of Transport and Communications when he died during an inspection of the Staic railway construction. Schmidt’s son, Mikhail, inherited the property and began running his father’s farming business, living in a building adjacent to the manor house.
However, after the Second World War, the fate of the mansion takes a different turn. It was converted into a fur farm, housing administrative offices and flats. In the 1990s, the descendants of the former owners regained ownership, only to pass back into the hands of two other owners. Initially, the purchasers had various plans for the use of the building, but the initial ideas and plans for the restoration of the manor house never materialised.
A Mysterious Abandonment
Today, the Lazdona Manor lies abandoned, a silent witness to the historical changes and transformations that have taken place over the decades. After several changes of ownership and projects that have not seen the light of day, the building remains empty, surrounded by an atmosphere of mystery and nostalgia.
The Call of Lazdona
Visiting the Lazdona Manor is like taking a trip back in time, imagining past splendour and moments of dedication during the period of the military hospital. Despite its abandonment, the manor retains a unique charm, attracting visitors fascinated by its history and architecture.
The Lazdona Manor is more than an abandoned building; it is a symbol of a bygone era, of intertwined histories and a heritage waiting to be preserved for future generations. Its history lives on, even among its ruins.