Purtse Castle

Purtse Castle (Estonian: Purtse mõis, German: Alt-Isenhof) is a castle of a local Purtse knight manor in Purtse, northeastern Estonia. It was built in the middle of the 16th century, probably by the landowner Johann von Taube, at a time when late Gothic ways of building were slowly being abandoned in favour of Renaissance ideas. The building therefore contains partly elements which were archaic even for its time, and partly examples of renaissance architecture.

Purtse Castle
Purtse mõis
Ida-Viru County, Estonia
Purtse vasallilinnus 2013.jpg
Purtse Castle is located in Estonia
Purtse Castle
Purtse Castle
Coordinates59°25′08″N 27°00′46″E / 59.4190°N 27.0129°E / 59.4190; 27.0129
TypeFortified manor
Site history
Built16th century (16th century)
Built byJohann von Taube


The castle was built as a fortified manor house, different from a purely defensive keep in that the floors have not only one but several rooms. It consists of three storeys: the lower was used for storage, the middle for living and the top floor had a defensive function. The building was entered on the second floor via a ladder which could, in times of danger, be pulled up. Inside, the basement contained a sophisticated hypocaust system which could be used for heating the main hall on the middle floor.[1]

During the course of history, the castle has had several different owners, notably Henrik Fleming (1584–1650), Governor of Ingria, and the Baltic German von Stackelberg family.[2] The castle has also seen many different uses, including a feudal home, a fortification, a cellar, a milk chamber, a grain storage, a prison and a workers' residence.

During its long history, the manor has also burnt down several times. After 1940 it was abandoned completely. The castle was restored in 1987–90.[3] The building is under state protection in Estonia and listed in the National Registry of Cultural Monuments.[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Viirand, Tiiu (2004). Estonia. Cultural Tourism. Kunst Publishers. p. 74. ISBN 9949-407-18-4.
  2. ^ Sakk, Ivar (2004). Estonian Manors - A Travelogue. Tallinn: Sakk & Sakk OÜ. pp. 36–37. ISBN 9949-10-117-4.
  3. ^ "Purtse Kindluselamu". Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Purtse" (in Estonian). National Registry of Cultural Monuments. Retrieved 20 December 2012.

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