Seegi Maja Restaurant is housed in what is arguably the oldest surviving building in the old town of Pärnu. The foundation of the property dates back to between 1250 to 1350, when Pärnu was growing prosperous as a Hanseatic trading town.
The first recorded mention of the property can be traced back to 1658, when town authorities ordered the construction of an almshouse. Over time and as a result of the tumultuous history of the region, the building fell into disrepair, until only the outer walls were left standing. In recent years, it has been rebuilt according to a 17th-century style of architecture and currently houses a hotel and a medieval-themed restaurant, the Seegi Maja.
One steps back in time upon entering the restaurant. Full of medieval-period features, including a timbered ceiling with sturdy exposed beams, it is dimly lit, with ponderous furniture and a bear skin stretched across one of its walls. An adjacent wall is covered with a fading mural, in the secco style of fresco painting.
The menu offers hearty fare served by staff in period costumes. There is game meat, dense rye bread, and smoked cheese soup. The latter is an Estonian speciality. The vine-shaded veranda is open for alfresco dining.
Know Before You Go
Though a table by the fireplace is comforting during winter, being seated at one of the tables on the veranda is far more pleasant during the summer months.