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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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)”

Burg Kyda (Kiiu)

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!

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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)”

Fort de Ruyter

I ended up at Fort de Ruyter after a walk from the port of Vlissingen. It wasn’t a clear-cut road and I did not know what I would be looking at when I arrived. The sight, as ever, was both magical and unexpected. It is quintessentially Dutch to have a thorough combination of the very old and the very modern, and that is what this fort represents in many a way.  Continue reading “Fort de Ruyter”

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