Ordensburg Segewold (Sigulda)

Not having written about any castles in a while, I am not sure my mindset is the same as it was beforehand. I have also been to quite a few historical sites over the last few months, so I am talking from a more general point of view.

Sigulda — or Segewold as it was known beforehand — was an incredibly important Livonian fortress. Not only was it one of the better-fortified sites (and the natural geography of the area is absolutely superb: I would not have wanted to be attacking Segewold in its heyday), but it was also part of the corridor of Order-owned forts which connected their fiefdoms of the north to the south. The neighbouring castles in their majority were owned by the Archbishop of Riga — an enemy at worst, and an unwelcome ally at best. Continue reading “Ordensburg Segewold (Sigulda)”

Ordensburg Arrasch (Araiši)

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.

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Araiši Lake Dwelling

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.

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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).

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”

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