The fort in Pärnu

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First mentioning of Pärnu fort dates back to 1265. Almost nothing is known about the first stage of building.

It is presumed, that the convent building was finished around 1311, during the rule of Master Gerhard Jorke. As the settlement near the fort soon grew into a town, it was surrounded with a wall, that was connected to the defenses of the fort. Both the fort and the city were fortified against firearms in the XV century.

The commander of the area resided in Pärnu. He was quite an important official of the Order, yet the convent building of the commander was one of the smallest in Livonia. In 1562, the town was captured first by Polish, later by Swedes.

In 1565, the Polish seized the fort again, in 1575 the Russians, and in 1581, Polish again. During this juggling, the fort was seriously damaged, but in the end of the century, both the fort and the fortifications of the town underwent large scale repairs. In 1710, the town fell to Russians, and after that the fortifications did not play an important role anymore.

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

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