The water fortress of Koluvere was established in the 13th century by the bishop’s vassal Lode. The tower fortress, convention hall and cannon tower were built later. This place has been a battlefield both during St. George’s Night uprising as well as during the Livonian war. In 1439 it became one of residences of Saare-Lääne bishop. In the 17th century the fortress was turned into a manor ensemble. In 1771 the empress of Russia – Catherine II – bought it and gave it to her lover – Prince Grigori Orlov. From that time and until 1917 the castle was used by the Russian czar’s family. Later on the building has been used as a boys’ educational establishment and as a nursing home.

At present the castle is in private ownership and being renovated. It is open in advance bookings only.

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Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

George On tour (2 years ago)
A castle has existed on the strategic location since the 13th century. In 1439, it came into possession of the bishop of Saare-Lääne (German: Ösel-Wiek) and functioned as one of the main residences of the bishop. During the Livonian War, a battle between an outnumbered Swedish army and a Russian army, resulting in a Swedish victory, was fought nearby. The clash, which took place in 1573, is known as the Battle of Lode. In 1560, insurgents during a peasant uprising reputedly also tried to storm the castle. Between 1646 and 1771, the castle belonged to the von Löwen family. By then it had lost its military significance and was henceforth used as an aristocratic residence. In 1771 it passed into the hands of Grigory Orlov after which it became the property of the Empress Catherine the Great. In 1786, the Empress found a use for the castle as a place of exile for Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel who had asked the Empress for protection from her violent husband, Prince Frederick of Würtemberg. She died at the estate under unclear circumstances, only 23 years old. Her grave is located in the nearby Kullamaa church, and her life has inspired plenty of local lore. In 1797, Emperor Paul I presented the estate as a gift to general Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoeveden. It remained in the possession of his heirs until 1919. Between 1924 and 2001, it was used by various welfare institutions
Stanislav Degtjarjov (4 years ago)
Very nice place, unfortunately it is a private area.
Stanislav Degtjarjov (4 years ago)
Very nice place, unfortunately it is a private area.
Anton Litvin (4 years ago)
Nice castle you can not get in to.
Anton Litvin (4 years ago)
Nice castle you can not get in to.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.