Helme church parish was first mentioned in 1329 during a Lithuanian raid. Most of the neighbouring land was fiefed in the 15th–16th centuries. Livonian Order castle in Helme (Ordensburg Helmet) was probably built in the first half of the 14th century. The site on a steep hill is belived to have been used as a stronghold earlier by Sackalians in the Ancient Estonia. By its ground plan the order castle was 120×60 m oval shaped structure, surrounded by two moats. There was a borough beside the castle in the Middle ages, it was mentioned until the 17th century. The castle was destroyed by the Swedes during the Russo-Swedish War in 1658. Nowadays only parts of the walls with high window holes have survived.

Reference: Wikipedia


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Founded: ca. 1330
Category: Ruins in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)


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User Reviews

Natalja (5 months ago)
Great place for a short and leisurely walk. In good weather, you can get good pictures. Nearby there is a cave, quite deep and there is also a source. The grounds are well-groomed and just a pleasure to walk around. It is worth making a stop here and taking a walk as a warm-up. There is also a swing that both adults and children can ride. We liked!
Олег Панов (6 months ago)
Эту достопримечательность мы увидели случайно, когда ехали из Пярну в Валгу, осмотрели быстро, только дома прочитали что же это за замок. Так что приводим текст из путеводителя. А ещё узнали, что если пройти дальше по парку, то там есть пещеры. Парковка бесплатная. Посетителей было мало. "..Развалины орденского замка в Хельме расположены на крутом холме около шоссе Пярну-Валга. Эта крепость была скорее всего построена в первой половине 14 века и сейчас от нее остались лишь высокие стены из бутового камня с пустыми провалами окон. Предание гласит, что для придания твердыне дополнительной прочности в стену замуровали юную девственницу. Стоит ли верить подобным легендам? Это уж кому как нравится! В разные периоды в крепости хозяйничали немцы, русские, литовцы и шведы. Последние и разрушили ее в 1658 году. Полезно знать: * В долине у холма журчит Докторский родник – считается, что его вода лечит от семи болезней.
Riho Sild (14 months ago)
Powerful stuff, beautiful nature, interesting history.
North Lures (18 months ago)
Nice place
Merle (18 months ago)
An interesting place in summer would need mowing. It is difficult to move like a hay belt. The tracks could be mowed.
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The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.

The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.

According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.

The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.

The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.

With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.