Franciscan monastery is built in Viljandi

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Even though the Franciscan Order began its activities already in the XIII century, the Order did not manage to built a monastery to Estonia before the XV century. The the Master of the Order, Johann von Mengede, asked the pope for a permission to build monasteries next to the forts of the Livonian Order. This he was granted: the construction works in Viljandi began in 1466. It was build near the fort of Viljandi, probably on top of an earlier sacral building, thus the irregularity of the ground plan. The first wave of the reformation left the monastery untouched, but in 1559, the former Master of the Order, Wilhelm Fürstenberg, secularized it. The monastery was devastated in 1560, when the Russians captured it. Nonetheless, the church of the monastery has survived to this day, now standing as the city church of St. John.

Source: Jaan Tamm. Eesti keskaegsed kloostrid = Medieval monasteries of Estonia. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, 2002.

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