The earliest data regarding human settlement at Vallimäe in Rakvere come from the Viking Age, an arrowhead from the 9th century and some broken pieces of pottery from this period have been found on the territory of the castle. There is more information about the last centuries of the prehistoric age when an ancient wooden stronghold surrounded by a fence stood in the place of the present convent building.

First written records about the stronghold called Tarvanpea come from the year 1226. In the middle of the 13th century the Danes started to replace the wooden stronghold with a more modern stone fortress.

After Virumaa and Harjumaa passed into the possession of the Livonian Order in 1347, a grand-scale reconstruction of the castle was carried out in several stages. In the first half of the 16th century a convent-type castle with a rectangular main tower was completed, it had strong flanks, a large front yard and an eastern gate consisting of several parts: the outer gate included a pitfall and a drawbridge and the inner gate had a lowered lattice. Living quarters and outbuildings were located in the front yard, near the circular wall.

During the Livonian war (1558–1583) the castle was attacked and damaged by the Russians, but it ended up under Swedish control. From 1602 to 1605 Rakvere fortress fell under the control of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. When they retreated from Rakvere in 1605 during the war with Sweden, they blew up the castle.

Today Rakvere castle is open to the public. In addition to the museum you can taste knights’ favourite drink, a Malvasia wine, made after the oldest recipe at the wine cellar.

References: Museums of Virumaa, 7is7.com

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1226
Category: Castles and fortifications in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ramunas Kaz (2 years ago)
Very interesting historical place and castle of Estonia.
Ashraf Zaher (2 years ago)
Very interesting place. Takes you fare back to the medieval time. worth to visit.
George On tour (2 years ago)
Throughout the ages, Rakvere Castle has belonged to Danish kings, knight-monks of the Livonian Order and the Swedish and Polish states. The longest period was the age of the Order, when Rakvere Castle was an important link in the defence system of the eastern border of the Teutonic Order. The bailiffs of Rakvere Castle were usually smart and capable young knights for whom the castle was a good springboard to gaining leading positions in the Order. At the end of the prehistoric times, there was an Estonian stronghold called Tarvanpää at the present location of Rakvere Castle.
Jesper Bexkens (2 years ago)
The entrance fee is quite high, which might be worth it if you check out all the "shows". Somehow they couldn't choose to keep the castle as a historic place or turn it into a theme park/playground. Quite a few rooms are only visible at certain times, but then at the given times: no staff members present. Staff seems to be more busy with hanging out, talking on their phones, chasing each other or the chickens and geese on the premises. Some staff members hardly speak any English. This place does have potential but at the moment it does not live up to it.
Rott Puna (2 years ago)
There are adventures for kids and adults. Coming in winter or in summer - always something to do. We liked the puppet theatre and horse and donkey riding. You can visit the Hell, if you have strong nerves. Prices are average.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Astrakhan Kremlin

For centuries, the Astrakhan Kremlin was inapproachable stronghold in the south-eastern border of the Russia.  The first construction of the Kremlin began in 1587-1588 under the guidance of I.G. Vorodkov, a lector of Discharge Order. He laid the first wooden fortress with powerful solid walls and towers. The place of construction was chosen on the hill, known as “Rabbit” or “Zayachii” in Russian.

During the reign of Ivan IV The Terrible and Boris Godunov the wooden fortress was rebuilt into a stone one. For the development of Kremlin walls and towers state-owned official masters were headed from Moscow to Astrakhan. For best results executives used the old, but very strong Tatar plinths which were brought from the ruins of the cities of the Golden Horde towns. Stone citadel was built by the type of Moscow Kremlin.

Next two centuries have become relatively calm for the Kremlin. Its buildings were repaired, rebuilt and renewed. However, in the beginning of 20th century after the October Revolution access to the Kremlin was closed. Instead it was transformed as a military post, where groups of Red Guards were formed the Military Revolutionary Committee was placed.

In January 1918 Astrakhan Kremlin was once again in the middle of fateful events, when supporters of Soviet power fought with Astrkhan Cossaks. They attacked The Red Army that was entrenched in the Kremlin, from roofs of nearby buildings. Serious destruction was caused to the Kremlin after this battle. In 1919 the Army was reorganized under the leadership of Kirov to protect the outfall of Volga and to defeat the White Guard troops and foreign interventionists.

Only after the end of the World War II the town opened the access to the Kremlin. At the same time Kremlin ceases to be subject of military purposes. In the mid-20th century significant restoration works were held, due to which many buildings, requiring urgent repairs were saved.

In 1974 the Astrakhan Kremlin became a museum. Nowadays citizens and tourists of Astrakhan have the access to museum exhibits of the lifestyle of the Astrakhan Garrison. Moreover they can see Casual Suits archers and scorers, elements of their weapons and ammunition, the exhibition dedicated to the history of popular uprisings and corporal punishment. In 2011, after the restoration of the kremlin, Guardhouse exposition was opened, which tells about the life of Astrakhan military garrison of the 19th century.

Assumption Cathedral

Construction of Assumption Cathedral began in 1699 and lasted almost 12 years. The bell tower was erected in 1710. The exterior of the Cathedral was decorated with molded brick and carved with white stone. Windows and dome heads were framed by columns in the style of Corinthian décor and semicircular arches were filled with paintings with biblical plot. Three of such arches were arranged on each side of the temple.

The cathedral was divided into two floors: the upper church is dedicated to the honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tall and light temple was intended for ceremonial worships during warm months. The lower church which is dark lightened and surrounded by the gallery columns.