Purtse vassal castle manor was built by Jakob von Taube in 1533, as a mixture between a defensive structure and a residential manor. Such structures were not built as strategic fortresses in case of war but rather as dwellings that provided protection against uprisings by Estonian peasants and provided a stronghold from which to control the surrounding area.
Purtse remained in the possession of the Taubes until 1615. After that, ownership of the manor transferred to Heinrich Fleming, who belonged to the peerage of Sweden. The party hall of the stronghold was decorated with colourful tiled stoves and baroque leather wallpaper. Purtse vassal stronghold has been burnt down and rebuilt several times throughout its history. The building suffered particularly badly during the Livonian War and the Great Northern War. The tower and defence floor of the building were destroyed in the Great Northern War (1700-1710).
The building has had many functions during its existence. It has been the home of a feudal family, offered protection in times of war and in later times it has served as a cold cellar, milk chamber, grain storage, a prison and a workers' residence.
The castle was left in ruins in the 1950s and restored from 1987 to 1990. Today it is open to the public from May to September. The castle popular venue for weddings and events.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.