iStock/RAndrey
iStock/RAndrey

Kuressaare Castle in Saaremaa, a step into the medieval era

2 minutes to read

The Kuressaare Castle in Saaremaa offers a real glimpse into the past. This defensive structure is preserved and packed with history of the island. Step into the medieval times, see the exhibitions and try your hand in some of the ancient activities. 

On the biggest island of Estonia, Saaremaa, there is a lot to see and do. Packed with the best spas and relaxing atmosphere, it is easy just to relax and forget about time and responsibilities. But, when you finish with the relaxation, take an evening walk around the city of Kuressaare and step into the castle of Saaremaa to learn a little bit about the history of this island. The Kuressaare Castle, built between the 14th and 19th century, stands proudly throughout the years. It is one of the best-preserved fortresses in Estonia. After the long history of defending the island, it now serves as a museum of Saaremaa. Take a few hours to walk through all the stone corridors and floors and get acquainted with the history of Saaremaa. The museum has two permanent exhibitions, the first one being in the defense tower and showing the history of Saaremaa during the years 1950 to 1994. The second is in a "department of nature" and shows the bedrock, climate, and the coast of Saaremaa where you can see all the different birds and animals that live on this island.

© iStock/gadagj
© iStock/gadagj
Kuressaare Castle
Kuressaare Castle
Lossihoov 1, Kuressaare, 93815 Saare maakond, Estonia

Try your hand at the archery 

The museum in Kuressaare Castle is not a boring one where you have to see all the exhibitions and listen to dull history and unamusing guides. Here, you can also step into the shoes of medieval people and try your hand at the archery. In the summertime, the courtyard of the castle fills up with many interesting activities for kids and adults. You can pick up the bow and arrow and test how skilled you are!

© iStock/Mailson Pignata
© iStock/Mailson Pignata

Shoot the medieval cannon

The castle is also home to the oldest working cannon of Estonia. This cannon was made in 1803 and still works as a brand new. In medieval times, cannons were a way to protect the castles and draw enemies away. In the Danish era, there were actually 162 different cannons in Kuressaare Castle, and they were used quite often. Nowadays, the visitors can see a real firing cannon during the festivities or when important people, such as queens, kings or presidents, come to visit Kuressaare. Or, you can even order a salute shot for yourself for a price of around 100 euros.

© iStock/fotoman-kharkov
© iStock/fotoman-kharkov

Eat as a noble

Of course, the best way to get acquainted with the culture is by tasting its traditional food. The castle also offers medieval-style dinners for groups, making you feel like a noble. The castle staff goes out of its way to make you remember a special candlelight dinner in the castle, with historical recipes, archaic dishes, and even goblets. But, beware, you won’t get a fork – food is eaten as in the old days, with bread and wrought knife. 

The Kuressaare Castle in Saaremaa lets you step into the medieval era and see how the defensive structures of the past used to work.  


The author

Merje Aus

Merje Aus

Merje – proud Estonian, in love with everything her home country has to offer. Studying Estonian philology and working as a journalist.

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