Vasknarva – Teutonic Castle Neuschloss

History

Neuschloss castle was a Teutonic border stronghold and the seat of the teutonic vogts, located on the shores of Lake Peipsi. Its role was to defend the north – eastern border of Livonia and control the southern section of the Narva river, which was the main communication and trade route between Livonia and Ruthenia. The first fortifications, probably still wooden, were created in 1349, that is a few years after the Teutonic Knights bought the Danish part of Estonia. These fortifications were after construction soon destroyed by the Pskovites. It was not until the first half of the fifteenth century that the Order managed to strengthen its control over the region, and in 1427 work began on a new brick castle. The first well-known teutonic vogt in Neuschloss was Peter Wesseler, who was in the castle in 1433. The stronghold remained in Order hands until 1558, when the last vogt Dietrich von der Steinkuhl submitted the castle to the Muscovite troops. Over the years Neuschloss witnessed the battles between Sweden and Russia. Repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, it eventually lost its military significance at the end of the 17th century and turned into disrepair.

Architecture

The castle from the fifteenth century was a simple stronghold consisting of a single house measuring 15×23 m. Inside, at least two floors, communication was provided by stairs placed in the wall thickness. The main entrance was in the north wall, the chapel or the chamber of the vogt was located on the first floor, and the ground and attic served as an economic and defensive function. In the southern part of the wall there were pointed arch windows. In the second half of the fifteenth century, the house was surrounded by a line of defensive walls, equipped with a fortified gate and two corner towers: circular from the north – west and square from the south – east.

Current state

Only three walls of the main house and scattered remains of external fortifications have survived from the castle to the present.

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