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

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Details

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

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ramunas Kaz (4 years ago)
Very interesting historical place and castle of Estonia.
Ashraf Zaher (4 years ago)
Very interesting place. Takes you fare back to the medieval time. worth to visit.
George On tour (4 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 (4 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 (4 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.
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King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

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