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Modern Estonia

Photobox: Castles of Estonia

by Peter Kessler, 16 February 2013

Helme Order Castle (Helme Ordulinnus in Estonian) lies near Tõrva, in Valgamaa, in the south-east of Estonia. The exact date on which it was founded is unknown, but it is generally believed to have been in the early fourteenth century. At this time, this part of Estonia was under the control of the Livonian Knights, a German crusading order which had played a key part in the recent conquest of the Baltic lands, ostensibly for reasons of spreading Christianity, but also to grab land and make some fortunes. Additional construction work took place over the next century or two, possibly in the aftermath of the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410. The castle was blown up by the Swedes in the early seventeenth century as part of their campaign to take control of Livonia and Estonia.

All photos on this page contributed by E Täte.

If you would like to submit your own photos of castles, contact us. Return to the Castles index.




Main Sources

Helme, Mart (compiler) - Guide to Castles in Estonia, Kunst, Estonia, 2003

Kiaupa, Zigmantas, with Ain Mäesalu, Ago Pajur, and Gvido Straube (compilers) - The History of the Baltic Countries, AS Bit, Estonia, 2008

Praust, Valdo - Most Beautiful Manors and Castles, Grenader Grupp, Estonia, 2004

Online Sources

Estonian Manors



Images and text copyright © P L Kessler except where stated. An original feature for the History Files.