Old Kremon has foundered, one might say. Little remains of it except the bounding wall, but this was not the mightiest of castles overlooking the Gaulja even in the old days. The Archbishop of Riga wanted a castle here, however, and he got it. The scenery about the place is absolutely wonderful, especially if the visitor finds themselves here on a glistening summer’s day.
Arrasch is a site which is more known for its pre-Christian lake dwelling reconstruction, but the locale also hosted an Ordensburg for many centuries — and indeed this is what I was hoping to describe here. The truth is, however, that we know very little about this place under the order and the ruins which are extant today do not create a mighty impression. We are truly talking about a smaller holding in between the major castles of Cesis (Wenden) and Sigulda (Segewold) with the Order properties hemmed in on either side by the Archbishop of Riga.
I had been hoping to visit Araiši ever since I read about a 9th century lake dwelling having been reconstructed there. Of course, reconstructions have their own downsides — potentially misunderstanding archaeological remains and such — but even so they can present a uniquely wonderful picture of the preceding centuries/millennia. Araiši, dating to the pre-Christian era of these lands, was even more of a sightseeing target for this reason.
One of the finest star fortresses in the world came as a surprise to me when I stepped out of CPH while waiting for a connecting flight. Naturally, I had to go and take a look — and I was not disappointed. It was a glorious summer’s day, and it was absolutely amazing to walk around the Kastellet’s perimeter. Continue reading “Kastellet / Citadellet Frederikshavn”
Pirita is an iconic neighbourhood of Tallinn, and it’s convent — in all of its many forms — has often been used as a cultural icon. It is also, therefore, typical to find oneself thinking whether to stop by. I did so on one summer’s day, and I really enjoyed my visit. However, from what was visible there, a look into the place’s history beforehand (or after) won’t go amiss. Continue reading “Pirita Convent”
Rõngu is a small place in Southern Estonia, much like that of Rannu a bit to its north. The one exception, and it is a relevant one, is that the ruins here are situated in a public park (gifted to the local community by one of the Baltic German nobles) — and there is also something here to see. This last bit is potentially the most striking of differences, and though the ruins are not extensive, they are interesting. Continue reading “Bischofsburg Ringen (Rõngu)”
Rannu is a place I had never heard of before starting to explore the history of Southern Estonia, and then noting that a castle had existed there. And, indeed, “had existed” normally means that something can be discovered or at least one’s own perspective improved so I went to take a look. Continue reading “Bischofsburg Randen (Rannu)”
Warbeck is another one of the castles on the Suur Emajõgi which I have managed to go past. Further downstream from the castle at Vana-Kastre, this place served a similar purpose in hopefully deterring would-be pirates and raiders while also acting as a toll station for any traders wanting to engage with the economic centre of the Bishopric of Dorpat.
The cute tower now known as Kiiu carries the dubious distinction of being the smallest surviving Medieval military building in the Baltics. This should lead the intrepid explorer to think from the start that there’s not a lot to go around here even though what there is has a wonderful atmosphere. If Kiiu ends up being on your route, do stop by and take a look!
The Estonian Otepää is mostly known to the locals as a winter resort, but this is a place where known history stretches back into the early 12th century — in some form or another. Mostly this is due to the ever helpful neighbouring Rus states, the typical ones to try and extend into these lands being the Novgorodians. The Germans, of course, came in their own time and we know some about their adventures here as well, and for a while the city could have been called the capital of the bishopric in which it was based.