Koluvere – Castle Lohde


   Originally, the Lohde estate belonged to the knightly family de Lode, who had a dispute with the bishop of Ösel–Wiek, as a result of which the church hierarch with the help of the Teutonic Order, banished its troublesome vassals and took direct control over the estate. Although it can not be ruled out that a defensive structure existed at that time, the main preserved fragments of the castle come from the period of the reign of bishop Winrych von Kniprode from the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. It is assumed that only a four-sided tower can have its beginning in the 13th century.
During the Livonian War in 1573, near the castle, a battle was fought between the larger Swedish army and the Russian army, as a result of which the Swedes were victorious. In 1560, rebels during the peasant uprising
apparently also tried to storm the castle. In the years 1646-1771 it belonged to the von Löwen family. Until then, it lost its military significance and was used as a dwelling residence. In 1771, it passed into the hands of Grigory Orłow, after which it became the property of empress Catherine the Great. In 1786, the empress used the castle as a place of exile for the duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, who asked tsarina for protection against her brutal husband, prince Frederick of Württemberg. In 1797, tsar Paul I handed over the property as a gift to general Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoeveden, in whose heirs it remained in possession until 1919.


   The castle was situated on an artificial island to which a single wooden bridge led from the south-west. The plan was in the form of a quadrilateral similar to a square with three wings of buildings encircling the inner courtyard and a wall curtain on the south-west side in which the gatehouse was placed. The most important role in the castle was played by the four-sided main tower, located near the southern corner of the castle, from where it flanked the gate and the access road to the castle. The side sections of the buildings were 42 x 45 meters in size and probably had three rooms in the ground floor, while some of the rooms were heated with hypocaustum furnaces on the lowest floor, which supplied heated air to the upper chambers by channels pierced in the walls. The courtyard of the castle was surrounded by cloisters, and in the north-eastern part there was a chapel and a refectory. There was a water mill near the stronghold. At the beginning of the 16th century, a massive, cylindrical tower, adapted to the use of firearms, was added to the western corner of the castle.

Current state

   The basic shape of the castle with two powerful corner towers, located in the middle of a small island, has survived to the present day. Unfortunately, the medieval layout of the rooms was obliterated during multiple rebuildings. In 2015, the renovation of the monument was completed, it is now in private hands, there is a hotel and restaurant operating in it.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

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