Building of the Paide fort

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The constructions began in either 1265 or 1266, by the orders of the Master of the Order, Konrad von Mandern. It was built on the border of two counties, Järva and Alempois, as according to the Stensby treaty, the Order was prohibited to build fortifications to Järvamaa county without the permission of the Danish king. Later, Paide became the center of Järvamaa.

The characteristic of Paide fort is its imposing main tower, called the Tall Hermann. No other such tower has preserved in Estonia. As Paide belonged to the Order, it also had the quadrangular convent building. It is one of the smallest in Estonia, 1390 m2 (Pärnu convent building is even smaller, 1132 m2). In the XV and XVI century it was upgraded, fortified against firearms and eventually, also soil bastions were added.

Events related the fort in Paide. During the St. George's Night Uprising, the well known meeting of the Order and Estonian ambassadors took place in Paide, where a quarrel broke out and the Estonians were killed. In the beginning of the Livonian War, the commander of the fort, Caspar von Oldenbockum managed to defend it from Russian siege; few years later the Swedes captured it. Russians managed to capture it in 1573. Also, during the Polish-Swedish War (1600-1629), the fort changed hands many times, and eventually became unusable. In 1636, the Swedish decided to erase the Paide fort from their list of fortifications. Since then, it has stood in ruins. In 1895-1897, the main tower was restored, but in 1941, the withdrawing Russian forces blew it up. The tower was restored again in 1990-1993.

Source: Kalvi Aluve. Eesti keskaegsed linnused. Tallinn: Valgus, 1993.

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