Rezekne Castle Ruins

Rēzekne, Latvia

Rēzekne Castle served as a base of the local Livonian order landlords until the 16th century and also as the main military support base for battles against Russians and Lithuanians. Archeological excavations reveal that between the 9th and 12th centuries a Latgalian wooden fortress was situated in the place where the castle ruins now stand. It is unknown when the Latgalian fortress was destroyed, however in 1285 the master of the Livonian Order Vilhelms Šurborgs built a stone fortress on the Rositten stone hill. The fortress consisted of a two-story brick and stone castle with a three-storey towers and thick brick walls, functioning as the administrative seat of Rezekne.

The castle was ravaged and rebuilt many times. Between 1577 and 1579, it was occupied by Czar Ivan IV Vasilyevich, and after the war it became part of the Duchy of Livonia. During the Polish-Swedish War in 1601, and again from 1625 to 1626, the Rezekne castle was occupied by the Swedish army, during the Second Northern War. The battle took place in 1656, during which the Rezekne castle was finally destroyed as the Swedish troops managed to defeat the much larger Russian forces. In 1660 it was reinstated, but the castle had lost its former military importance. From 1712 it was left in ruins. Today, fragments of the stone walls and the foundation can be seen on the ancient castle hill.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1285
Category: Ruins in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Irina Bradley (44 days ago)
Magical place that gives power to the imagination.
J K (6 months ago)
Place to visit
Artis T (2 years ago)
Nothing much to see, but high school memories give some stars to the place
Andris Škutāns (2 years ago)
Nice!
Anna Rodina (2 years ago)
Very impressive
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.