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


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Billy Marlowe (2 years ago)
During my visit, there was a farmers market and medieval fair happening. So, I might have come at the perfect time, skewing this review a tad. I had a lot of fun trying various activities and just exploring the monetary. A mix of spooky and fascinating.
Ralf Straszim (3 years ago)
Fantastic and mystic place. You can breathe its history! Great for children of every age also
Mario Azzopardi (3 years ago)
If old ruins are not your thing, then don't go, because you'll see nothing else. It was fairly interesting to me. This monastery belonged to Cisterian monks, who were very austere. Don't expect any art. They had places to eat, sleep, pray and work, and that's what you'll see.
Eric Pettersson (3 years ago)
▶️ Padise Monastery is the oldest (from 13th century) and and in my opinion the most prominent architectural monument in medieval Harju County. ? During the Livonian War, the monastery was used as a fortress. In 1622, the then ruler of Estonia donated the monastery to King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden and the land belonging to it to the cathedral Thomas Ramm of Riga, who moved with his family to Padis. The monastery church was rebuilt into a residential building. The Ramm family lived in the monastery until 1766, when it caught fire in a thunderstorm. The monastery was never restored, but the construction of a new manor house was started next to the monastery. Today it's a really nice museum worth a visit ?
Esta Karbov (6 years ago)
Worth a visit
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