Padise Monastery

Padise, Estonia

Padise Monastery was a former Cistercian monastery. It was founded in 1310 by the dispossessed monks of Dünamünde Abbey in Latvia. King Eric VI of Denmark gave them permission to build a fortified monastery in Padise, where they moved in 1310, although construction of the stone buildings did not begin until 1317.

By 1343, at the time of the St. George's Night Uprising, when it was still only partly built, the monastery was burnt down and 28 monks, lay brothers and German vassals were killed. Rebuilding began in 1370. By 1445 all major works, including the construction of the gatehouse and the residential and service buildings, had been completed, and vaulting had been added to the church roof. The consecration of the main building took place in 1448.

Around the year 1400 Padise monastery had acquired extensive estates in Estonia and also in southern Finland and throughout the 15th century enjoyed a period of great prosperity and influence as one of the most important spiritual centres of Estonia. It began however to sell off its lands and entered a period of decline in the beginning 16th century. Nevertheless it survived the upheavals of the Reformation in the 1520s.

In the Livonian War, the last Master of the Livonian Order, Gotthard Kettler, fearing after the invasion of the Russians that the Swedes would occupy the monastery, occupied it himself in 1558, and in 1559 dissolved it, ejecting the monks and confiscating the buildings and estates. He converted the monastery itself into a fortress, which the Swedes duly took in 1561. In 1576 the Russians besieged and took it, and during their occupation strengthened the fortifications, but four years later were in their turn besieged by the returning Swedes, who regained it in 1580 after a long siege and a damaging bombardment.

In 1622 King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden gave the estates of the former Padise monastery to Thomas Ramm, Burgermeister of Riga, in the possession of whose family it remained until 1919. Ramm converted the premises into a Baroque country house. When in 1766 it was struck by lightning and burnt down, the Ramms used the stone to build a Neo-Classical manor house nearby.

The remaining buildings, which were stabilised in the 1930s, are now used as a museum. A comprehensive restoration of the former monastery complex was agreed in 2001.

Reference: Wikipedia

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Details

Founded: 1317
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Esta Karbov (4 years ago)
Worth a visit
Elar Viirlaid (4 years ago)
Nice old monestry to visit
Juri Andrushik (4 years ago)
Nice and free place. Better see at winter or summer.
Rich Bell (5 years ago)
Very large, totally free, open (zero security) historic site to wander around. Includes a 5-story tower with spiral staircase to climb. There are a reasonable number of signs in 4 languages (English, Russian, German, and French, I believe) explaining the site's history. Huge, and full of interesting rooms to explore. I'm an impatient traveler who walks fast, and it took me 45 minutes to wander the site. Not remotely wheelchair friendly. Lots of parking. Food and services available at the hotel 100 meters away. One of the larger/more interesting castles I toured in the Baltic region, free, and open 24/7 (there's no one around to "close" it).
Diana Magnus (5 years ago)
It was really nice n peaceful... U can climb up n everywhere inside! For free!
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