Estonia, Lajuse Castle

Estonia, Lajuse Castle

The castle of Laiuse, or the castle of Lais (German Schloss Lais), was founded by the Livonian Order in the 14th century. Construction continued until the middle of the 15th century. This castle was built as an auxiliary and was adapted to use firearms.

First built a central part, measuring 21×11.6 m, and a circumferential wall in the form of a trapezoid. Initially, the height of the walls was 9 meters, and the thickness – just over 1 meter. Later, in the 15th century. The height and thickness of the walls of the castle were increased. The maximum height of the surviving wall is 13.8 m, and the height of the partially destroyed tower is 22 m. The diameter of the bath at the base is 14 meters, the thickness of the walls is 4 m.

The first attempts to capture the castle were undertaken by Russian troops in 1501 and 1502, but they were unsuccessful, the castle could not be seized. Serious battles for the fortress took place during the Livonian War. In February 1559, Russian troops repeatedly tried to seize the castle, but this could not have happened until August. At the end of the same year, the master of the Livonian Order Gotthard Ketler attempted to return the castle, however, he could not do it.

Lajuse Castle

In 1582, the Yam-Zapolsky Peace Treaty was signed, according to which the Castle Laiuse and its surroundings were transferred to Poland. At the direction of the region’s elder, the castle and the surrounding houses were going to be rebuilt. The peace treaty did not last long and was violated by the Swedish-Polish war, which lasted from 1600 to 1629. At the very beginning of this war, the Swedes besieged the castle. After a 4-week siege of the fortress, the Polish troops surrendered. The castle passed to the Swedes, although for a short while, a year later the Poles reconquered the fortress. January 5, 1622 Swedish commander (ooberst) Henrik Fleming (Henrik Fleming) stormed the castle Laiuse. During the Russo-Swedish War (1656-1661 gg.) Russian troops reached the castle (in 1657), but then there was no attempt to capture the castle.

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By the beginning of the Northern War, most of the castle was destroyed. In the courtyard of the castle ruins, residential buildings were built. Among them stood a large one-story house in which the Swedish King Charles XII stayed. Here he arrived after a famous battle near Narva, in which the troops of Peter I were defeated. At present, we can observe only the ruins of the castle Laiuse.

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