Kuressaare Things to Do

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  • Kuressaare castle
    Kuressaare castle
    by remigia
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    Kuressaare Castle
    by antistar

Best Rated Things to Do in Kuressaare

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    Medieval castle

    by js77 Written Mar 1, 2007

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    This 14th century castle in my opinion is the best example of medieval castle architecture in Baltics. That’s because many of survived castles here has been rebuilt in later centuries, but that's not the case for Kuressaare castle. It belonged to Bishop of Osel-Wiek who in 13th-16th century had his own feudal state - in modern Western part of Estonian mainland and in part of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa islands. Unfortunately there is very little information in many halls of the castle, so probably it is better to take a guide there - I hope it is possible to hire one there. I was a little bit disapointed after seeing whole castle and not getting enough knowledge about it.

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    Walk the streets of Kuressaare

    by js77 Written Mar 1, 2007

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    It is a pleasure to walk around the one of most beautiful towns of Estonia. There are very few houses which are from Soviet times or newer. So, nothing much has changed in architecture in past 50-100 years, I suppose. The centre of town is quite small (what else can you expect of a town with population of 15 000?) and it will not take much time.

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    Monument of the War for Independence

    by js77 Written Mar 1, 2007

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    This monument is built to commemorate the islanders who lost their lifes fighting for the indendence of Estonia in 1918-1920. It was twice demolished by Soviet authorities (in 1940 and in 1945). It's not surprising Soviets didn't like it - Estonian War for Independence was against Bolsheviks.

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    Kuressaare Castle

    by antistar Updated Jul 21, 2009

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    Kuressaare Castle
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    Kuressaare hosts a rather plain looking, but impressively intact castle on its coast. In fact it claims to be the only wholly intact medieval castle in all the Baltics. While not something that you'd come especially to Kuressare to see, it does make a pleasant sight sitting as it does in the still, green tinged waters of its moat.

    The castle also contains a museum, which charts the history of the castle and town, but it's not particularly interesting.

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    Kuressaare Beach

    by antistar Updated Jul 21, 2009

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    Kuressaare from the Beach on Midsummer Night
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    In a protective cove, under the wing of the castle, Kuressaare's beach looks hopefully out into the Baltic. This is where the locals gather on midsummer's night to dance, drink and burn great pyres. It's also a place for kids to play on slides that mysteriously disappear into the water, like Atlantis, and for gentle walks along the water's edge.

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    Kuressaare Harbour

    by antistar Written Jul 19, 2009

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    Kuressaare Harbour
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    On the opposite side of the castle to the beach is the town's harbour. Don't be confused by the ferry harbour down by the airport - that one is ugly and a long way away.

    This harbour is where yachts from Finland, Latvia, Sweden, Britain and other North Sea countries park up for the night, and where the town's most expensive hotels and restaurants congregate.

    It's a pleasant spot, and well worth a wander.

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    Bishop's castle

    by NilsTheFreelancer Written Aug 7, 2006

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    Main entrance.
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    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.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Lions are attacking!

    by NilsTheFreelancer Written Aug 7, 2006

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    In the bishop's castle there is a Prisons tower. Bishops were not only spiritual leaders but also judges. Condemned to death were dropped into deep Lions shaft right below court hall. If someone walks over this dark shaft, you can hear lions roaring loudly. Quite frightening, if you are caught by surprise for the first time, as I was. :)

    Here is attached story about lions shaft.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

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    The Monument

    by jckim Updated Mar 26, 2005

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    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.

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    • Architecture

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    Saaremaa History museum

    by mcblacktiger Updated Mar 23, 2005

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    Church within Kuressaare 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

    May-Aug 10:00a.m.-18:00(6:00)p.m.
    Sept-Apr 11:00a.m.-18:00(6:00)p.m.

    (please see the travelogue for more pictures)

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    The best castle in Estonia

    by mcblacktiger Updated Mar 23, 2005

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    Kuressaare Castle(kindlus)

    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)

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    Kuressaare Castle

    by remigia Written Nov 27, 2007

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    Kuressaare castle
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    The main object of attraction in Kuressaare is the old Teutonic castle. It was built in XIV and still is the best preserved castle in Baltic States. Impressive huge fortress stands in the middle of diamond shaped island surrounded by water and heavy stone walls. The corners od the "diamond" are shaped like spears. The views are really great both from the land and from the castle walls and towers. For years it was the main stronghold and the residence of Saare-West Bishops. Now visitor can see the exhibit representic those glorious times. Part of the castle is given to museum which displays the history and culture, dayly life, traditions , art of Saaremaa. Various events take place at the castle yard.
    Just like many other castles, Kuressaare Castle has it's own stories. One of them is about Lion Den- the big pit where lions lived( inother version- wolves). The castle was also a court at those times and the convicts were thrown down for the beasts. In fact, the pit is the main collector of the castle's sewerage system. But there really was a man thrown down. One of the Bishops was strangled. His murder wanted to hide the crime and it took few days untill the body was found in litter. Another story tells of a knight burried alive behind the stone walls. His body was discovered when reconstucting the castle. The skeleton went to dust when touched but the drawings were made. Now everyone can see the moulage of unlucky man in his cell next to the castle entrance......

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Castles and Palaces

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    The Weighhouse

    by js77 Written Mar 1, 2007

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    This 17th century house is most beautiful and probably one of the oldest buildings in Kuressaare. It is located in the central square of the town, so you will not miss it if you will take a walk through the town.

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  • jckim's Profile Photo

    Kuressare Bishopric Castle

    by jckim Updated Mar 26, 2005

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    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.

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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    Kuressaare Castle

    by Openseas Updated Oct 1, 2007

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    The castle and the fortress are the main attractions of Kurressaare. Its a beautiful castle surrounded by an artificial island and moat. The gardens and parks are gorgeous which lead down to a pretty sandy beach.

    We were lucky to land in Kuressaare on the day of the Castle Festival and it was truly amazing with all the locals dressed in their traditional festive clothes and heaps of medieval games and markets taking place.

    The fortress was built in the 14th century and is one of the best preserved medieval fortress in the Baltic States.

    I highly recommend this attraction if visiting Kuressaare.

    Related to:
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    • Singles
    • Backpacking

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