Rujiena – Order Castle Rujen

History

The year 1263 is considered as the date of the castle’s creation, but it is not known whether it was already a brick stronghold. It guarded the border between the Teutonic Order and the dominion of the Archbishops of Riga. It also served as a point of storage and a place of refuge for the local population. It was not a high-ranking castle, therefore the first reference to it dates back to 1499. In 1481, Rujen was burnt by the army of Ivan the Terrible, however, the destruction could not be large, because the castle was quickly renovated, and in 1526 it was selected to the place of important negotiations concerning the acceptance by Riga of the new archbishop John Blankfeld. At the end of the existence of the teutonic power in Livonia, Rujen was even raised to the rank of commandry. Heinrich von Galen, who was in office until 1560, when the castle was destroyed by the Russians, became its only commander in history. In subsequent years, Rujiena was included into the Polish-Lithuanian state, and since the 20s of the seventeenth century it belonged to Sweden. If the castle still functioned at that time, it was certainly completely destroyed at the beginning of the 18th century during the Great Northern War.

Architecture

The final, medieval form of the castle was limited to a courtyard surrounded by a wall and a moat, into the area of which two gates led: the main one from the west side and the smaller gate from the south side. In addition, the castle had a tower standing in front of the defensive wall, located in the northern part. The stone buildings of the courtyard were limited to a few houses adjacent to the inner walls.

Current state

Currently, only small relics of the old defensive walls are visible on the castle hill. Admission to the hill area is free.

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