Grobiņa – Order Castle Grobin


   The history of Grobiņa dates back to the 8th century when a Scandinavian trade settlement existed there, followed by a hillfort of pagan Curonians. In 1254, under the document dividing the Courland between the Teutonic Order and the individual bishoprics, these areas fell to the Order. However, for a long time, the Teutonic Knights were unable to submit permanently these border areas. It was not until the third decade of the 14th century that the construction of the brick fortress Grobiņa began, and even later, because it was not until 1428 that the first known teutonic vogt, Goswin von Ascheberg, appeared in the sources. The last vogt was Klaus von Streithorst, who was in the castle around 1560.
After the secularization of the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order, the castle and the entire region was joined to the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, dependent on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was then rebuilt several times and adopted as a noble residence. In the 17th century, it was additionally reinforced with artillery bastions. Its destruction was brought about by the Great Northern War in the early 18th century, after which it was no longer rebuilt. Partial renovation of the castle fragments was  carried out in the 70s of the twentieth century.


   The castle was situated on a hill overlooking the lake in the south-west. It had only one spacious courtyard of a regular shape, surrounded by a defensive wall to which from the north, south, east and partially west were adjacent buildings, mostly wooden, low, for economic purposes. The most imposing of them was a brick southern house, which housed a chapel from the east and further a refectory and a vestibule with a latrine embedded in the thickness of the outer wall. At least some of the buildings and walls were equipped with a wooden porch for defenders running upwards. The castle gate located in the four-sided tower was probably halfway along the western wall, although it is not visible in the 17th-century drawing of the castle. The entire complex was surrounded by an irrigated moat. The castle did not have a defensive outer bailey or it was made entirely of wooden construction.

Current state

   Until today, most of the outer walls of the main south wing of the castle and smaller fragments from the north and east have survived. All of them, unfortunately, have modern window openings, distorting the appearance of the original structure to a large extent. The area of ruin is a popular place to rest, and numerous outdoor events are organized here.

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