Tartu (Dorpat) – Bishop’s Castle


The construction of the castle began in 1234 and already in 1262, it managed to defend itself against the invasion of Novgorod’s army led by Dmitry of Pereyaslavl, son of Aleksander Nevsky. The fortifications of the castle and the city were one of the reasons why the Teutonic Order was unable to impose its authority on the bishop’s duchy. The stronghold suffered during the Livonian War in the second half of the 16th century and during the Great Northern War at the beginning of the 18th century, after which it was completely demolished during the afterwar reconstruction of the city.


The castle was erected on a hill above the city, probably in a mixed brick and stone structure. The layout of the stronghold is poorly recognized and very hypothetical. It probably consisted of the upper castle and the west fortified outer bailey, separated from it by a moat. The upper castle was equipped with a cylindrical main tower, standing next to the eastern wing of the castle. The outer bailey was reinforced with at least four towers and gate towers. The entire complex was connected to the city’s defensive walls.

Current state

The castle has not survived to modern times.

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Borowski T, Miasta, zamki i klasztory, Inflanty, Warszawa 2010.