Tērvete – Order Castle Hofzumberge


   The castle was erected in the 14th century by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order to protect against military expeditions of Lithuanians. The German name of stronghold referred to the former Semigallian hillfort that existed nearby. The castle was directly subordinated to the Dobele commandry. Already in 1345 it was conquered by Lithuanians who were to kill eight knights of the Order and a large number of other people. It was rebuilt only in the 16th century for the purpose of being a prince’s hunting lodge. In 1596 in the castle, the sons of Gotthard Kettler, Wilhelm and Frederick, concluded an agreement sharing the principality of Courland and Semigallia among themselves. The castle was destroyed and abandoned during the Great Northern War in the early 18th century.


   The castle was erected on a square plan measuring 25×25 meters with 1.1 meters thick defensive walls. At least one of the corners was equipped with a four-sided wall projection, perhaps in the form of a small tower. Inside the south-eastern wall there was a residential building with basement.

Current state

   Until today, one larger fragment of the castle wall has survived with visible holes on the logs supporting the ceiling and a few smaller stone relics. Nearby are the earth ramparts of Semigallian hillfort.

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