Durbe – Order Castle Durben


   In 1260, near Durbe there was a battle, in which the Lithuanian army caused a severe defeat to the forces of the Teutonic Order. At that time, the order stronghold did not exist yet, although perhaps three years later, a wooden watchtower was erected. The first historical mention about the brick castle dates back to 1397, so it can be supposed that it was erected around the middle of the 14th century. It was a safe place of refuge for the local population, travelers and marching troops. After the secularization of the Teutonic Order in Livonia, Durbe became part of the newly established Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, but it was not a significant stronghold, and none of the rulers undertook to expand it. For some time it was used as the seat of a lower rank officials and a warehouse. Eventually, due to the poor condition and war damages, it was abandoned during the Great Northern War.


   Durben Castle, located on a hill adjacent from the north to the lake, was a simple defensive structure with a shape of walls similar in plan to a square. Inside, on the north-west side, there was only one building, where the crew was stationed and supplies were kept. Its floors were separated by a flat, wooden ceiling.

Current state

   Until today, apart from the foundations, only one longer fragment of the castle wall has been preserved, with a height of a few meters and the north-east relic of the corner of the castle house. Entrance to the ruins area is free.

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