Top Historic Sights in Võru, Estonia

Explore the historic highlights of Võru

St. Catherine's Church

The Lutheran church of St. Catherine was built between 1788-1793. It is named after Empress Catherine II, who donated 28 000 silver roubles to the construction. The classicist-style building is a one naved church with large arched blind windows. In the course of renovation in 1879, the spire received a new helmet and a clock with four faces. Supposedly architect Christoph Haberlandt made the design of the church. The alt ...
Founded: 1788-1793 | Location: Võru, Estonia

Võry Orthodox Church

The late-classicism style church was designed by M. Schons, chief architect of the Livonian Province. The master carpenter was Johann Karl Otto, a resident of Võru. The church was completed in 1804 and named the Greatmartyr Catherine’s Church in honour of Catherine II. The building has a simple rectangular ground planning, a sturdy western spire, a cupola-like ridge roof on the high tambour and arched windows ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Võru, Estonia

Kirumpää Castle Ruins

The first record of Kirumpää Castle (in German Kirrumpäh) dates back to the year 1322. It was one of the residences of Bishopric of Dorpat. The castle was destroyed in a Swedish-Russian war in 1658. Much of the ruins were used for construction in Võru town in XVIII-XIX century. Today, there is little left of the former castle. The ruins are located on a small scenic hill. Reference: Wikimedia Common ...
Founded: 1322 | Location: Võru, Estonia

Väimela Manor

The Väimela manor originates from the 16th century and belonged to von Richters and von Loewens for a long time. The stylish Classicist manor complex originates from the beginning of the 19th century. Now it belongs to a vocational school. The originally one-storey main building was turned into a two-storey one in the 20th century. A kilometre from the centre of the estate, there is the cemetery chapel of the von Lo ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Võru, Estonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.