Without doubt, the most tourist attraction. In late XIV century built castle is impressive outside and inside. As far as I know, this is the best survived Livonian bishop castle in the Baltic states, others have been partly or fully destroyed during following centuries.
They have VERY GOOD history and nature museums inside castle with short video films, illustrating particular historical period (i.e, WW2 - both Soviet and German short films about capturing this island, Soviet occipation in 1940, etc.). I strongly recommend to visit this museum, then Saaremaa history will become a clear picture.
It is located in the castle. In the castle you can spend one or two hours. wander around and discover all corners ans stairs.
There is also an expo about the fauna of the Island with stuffed animals. Impressive the size of an moose.
Entrance fee 30 Lets pp. (7-2005)
This Monument in honour of those islanders who lost their lives in the War for Independence ( 1918~1920 ). The Monument was erected in 1928 and art made by well known Estonian sculptor A. Adamson. Soviet soldiers destroyed twice, in 1941 and 1945.
The only medieaval stone castle in the Baltic states that has survived throughout the centuries as an entirety. In 15th~18th centuries protective walls and bastions ware erected around it. The exhibits of the Saaremaa museum, introducing the local histort and nature are located in the castle.
This museum is located within the Kuressaare castle and covers the history of Saaremaa form the ice age untill today.It is an excellent museum except that most of it is written in only Estonian, but there are handouts available in several different languages. One nice thing about Estonian museums is that most things are not protected by glass walls and while you still cannot touch them you can get an up close and personal view. The other nice thing about Estonia is because they don't have personal injury lawsuits (like they do in america) you have much more acess to ruins and old buildings than in most other countries.
Cost : 30 EEK for non Estonians
(please see the travelogue for more pictures)
This castle is only one of two "true" castles,Kuressaare and Narva, in Estonia that is in near perfect condition. (Toompea in Tallinn is more of a walled city than a fortress).
The castle that you see today was first built during the 13th century and was continually updated and enlarged through the 18th century. With the advent of gunpowder and cannons the outer wall and towers were added around the 17th century.
(please check out my travelogue for more photos)
This Lutheran church was built in 17th century, but it was destroyed by fire. The church you can see now is built few centuries later.
St Nicholas Orthodox Church built in 1790 is the oldest building of the type in Saaremaa. In the middle of the 19th century, the Orthodox religion began spreading all over Saaremaa, from here.