Kiiu – Kyda Tower


   The owners of the residential and defense towers in Livonia were secular knightly families remaining in a vassal relation to the local feudal lord: the bishop or the Teutonic Order. The owners of Kyda were the Tiesenhausen family, one of the most powerful families scattered throughout Estonia. The first mentions of the estate come from the second half of the 14th century and perhaps then some wooden fortifications were already created. The stone tower comes from the first quarter of the 16th century. In the sixteenth century, during the invasion of Ivan the Terrible troops, it was damaged and probably abandoned. In the form of a ruin, it survived successfully until the 20th century, when it was repaired.


   The tower was built as a cylindrical building in the plan, narrowing upwards, a three-story building, where the ground floor was a representative room, and the first floor was a residential level. The other two floors served defensive functions, the lower one was equipped with a currently reconstructed wooden, defensive porch. The tower did not have a basement, but the ground floor and the first floor were vaulted. The floors were accessible by a spiral staircase. The layout of wooden auxiliary buildings in surroundings of the tower and hypothetical, additional external fortifications are not known.

Current state

   Today, the tower in Kiiu is one of two (next to Vao) fully preserved defense tower houses in Estonia. Along with the reconstruction of the wooden porch, it was restored to its original, late medieval appearance. Currently, there is a restaurant inside.

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Borowski T, Miasta, zamki i klasztory, Inflanty, Warszawa 2010.
Tuulse A., Die Burgen in Estland und Lettland, Dorpat 1942.