Pirita Convent

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”

Bischofsburg Ringen (Rõngu)

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)”

Review: Liivimaa riimkroonika

Hinnang: 4 / 5

Ajaloolisi allikaid on raske, isegi ehk võimatu, hinnata tänapäevaste standardite järgi, kui just selleks ei võta teose võimalikku kasulikkust praegusele ajahetkele. Liivimaa riimkroonikal, või siis õigemini Liivimaa vanemal riimkroonikal, seda eriti ei ole. Siin teoses ei tooda välja suuri moraale ega lahendata eksistentsialistlikke probleeme.

Selle asemel on tegu kirjeldusega Riia linna, Mõõgavendade ordu ja Liivi ordu tegemistest 13.ndal sajandil, peamise rõhuga Lätis. Enamus mainitud kohtasid on praeguseks kadunud või varemetes kui me nende asukohta üldse aimame, ning läbikäivate inimeste nimed ei ole vast tänapäevaste inimeste kõrvu kordagi jõudnud. Sellegipoolest on tegu julgete karakteridega, kes astusid vastu (põhieesmärgiga siiski omakasu saamiseks) kohalike rahvastele ning kõige huvitavamaks aspektiks ongi äkki kirjeldusest läbikäiv kohalike rahvaste südisus vastupanus.

Veel üks asi, mida tasub mainida, on autori järjepidevus suhteliselt standartse riimikasutuses — tema keeles ei olnud väga palju või häid võimalusi, kuid ta on järginud ja pusinud läbi umbes kaheteisttuhande riimirea, mis on päris hea saavutus (eriti arvestades, et see projekt võttis vist aega umbes kuus aastat ning takistus edukale lõpule oli ilmselt kirjutada surm).

Bischofsburg Odenpäh (Otepää)

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.

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Bischofsburg Oldentorne (Vana-Kastre)

Oldentorne, or in today’s language, Vana-Kastre was the site of a castle in the Bishopric of Dorpat (Tartu). Not much is left today — I only found a bit of surviving masonry, overgrown by the trees present, and there is a lot of overgrowth present. There might have been some attempts to save this place from nature but it did not last long, and I feel like the local villagers would have taken the potential for stones and used them in dwellings they required after the castle fell into disuse. Continue reading “Bischofsburg Oldentorne (Vana-Kastre)”

Ordensburg Keikael (Keila)

An ordensburg is much the same as a bischofsburg, just for the Order and not a Bishop. The Order in this case is the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order who took Keila over when the old owners decided they had enough and could sell the place. The Order was quite appreciative of this, and Keila’s importance grew considerably with this place becoming one of the most important castles near Tallinn (Reval) where a lot of the logistics was determined, also evidenced by the Order’s Komtur (Commander) of Tallinn living here.

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Review: Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights (2), Stephen Turnbull

Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights (2): The stone castles of Latvia and Estonia 1185–1560Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights (2): The stone castles of Latvia and Estonia 1185–1560 by Stephen Turnbull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this a bit more than the previous volume, mostly because Mr Turnbull had described the religious and organisatorial aspects of the Teutonic life and was able to input more about various episodes. Primarily, as the nature of the subject here is the Livonian chapter, these episodes concerned undertakings in the Northern Baltics but some were also relevant in light of the previous volume. Continue reading “Review: Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights (2), Stephen Turnbull”

Bischofsburg Hapsal (Haapsalu)

English regrettably lacks the term I was looking for here, or at least it’s clumsier than Bischofsburg: Episcopal Castle, so I’ve gone with the German term. I guess this comes from the fact that rarely were bishops there highest secular power in a region/area in the British Isles and so their construction efforts took the form of palaces and priories more than castles (North Elmham is a good exception but it’s still called ‘castle’ and it’s bishop was definitely subservient to the King with regards to secular folk in the Bishopric of Norwich). Continue reading “Bischofsburg Hapsal (Haapsalu)”

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