Kandava – Order Castle


The construction of the Teutonic castle in Kandava began quite early, because in the mid-thirteenth century, during the reign of the Livonian master Burkhard von Hornhausen, however, the rank of vogt’s seat was granted to the stronghold only at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Fifteen years later, during the time of the Eberhard von Monheim master of Livonia, the castle was expanded. The first known by its name vogt was Evert von Garath from 1383-1389. An interesting piece of information is the fact that the Kandava’s administrator had to supply 491 kg of honey annually to the teutonic convent in Kuldīga. This can be explained by the spread of beekeeping among the local residents. Of course, this was not the only occupancy of the population, and the considerable income of the castle was also demonstrated by the short-lived raising of Kandava in the late 15th century to the rank of commandry. From the beginning of the sixteenth century until the secularization of the order in Livonia, the castle was once again managed by the teutonic vogts, who after 1560 were replaced by lay administrators, reporting to the Dukes of Courland and Semigallia. After numerous wars from the 17th century, the castle was seriously neglected. The Swedish army of Karl XII at the beginning of the 18th century made another plunder and destruction, so that the Kandava governors moved out of the castle, which fell into total ruin and then almost completely decline.


The defensive wall of the castle had an irregular shape, adapted to the form of the hill on which it was erected. The upper castle certainly had one three-story wing of building, the existence of the other three wings is less certain, though as there was a full order convent there for some time, there also had to be a refectory, dormitory and chapel, and it’s hard to assume that they would fit in one wing. On the south side there was an outer bailey, surrounded by a defensive wall. The eastern side of the castle was defended by a four-sided tower, it is possible that the next four-sided tower, preserved to this day under the name of Powder Tower, was originally a dansker.

Current state

Only small relics of foundations and the eastern tower known as Powder Tower have survived to the present day. Entrance to the ruins area is free.

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