Ordensburg

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The Ordensburg Marienburg in 1890/1905, during the German Empire
Ordensburgen Ausschnitt.jpg

Ordensburgs (plural in German: Ordensburgen, literally: castles of orders) were fortresses built by crusading German military orders during the Middle Ages. The term "Ordensburgen" was also used during Nazi Germany to refer to training schools for Nazi leaders.

Medieval Ordensburgs[edit]

The Ordensburgs were originally constructed by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and later the Teutonic Knights to fortify territory in Prussia and Livonia against the pagan aboriginals. Later, Ordensburgs were used to defend against Poland and Lithuania, the Ordensburgs often resembled cloisters. While they were considerably larger than those in the Holy Roman Empire, they were much scarcer in the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. While a normal castle in the Reich would control about 38 km2, a castle would control 370 km2 in Prussia and 789 km2 in Livonia, Courland and Estonia. The few small castles are considered to be of vassals, while the larger ones might have served as arsenals and strongholds against rebels and invaders.

Most Ordensburgs were rectangular, even quadratic in form, built from red brick and lacking a Bergfried. Many castles had no towers at all, as the bailey, a mighty quadrangle, was considered sufficient for defence.

List of medieval Ordensburgs[edit]

  • Adsel (Gaujiena, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Allenstein (Olsztyn, Poland)
  • Alschwangen (Alsunga, Latvia) - a genuine order castle
  • Altona (Altene, Latvia)
  • Angern (Angerja, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Angerburg (Węgorzewo, Poland)
  • Arensburg (Kuressaare, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Arrasch (Āraiši, Latvia)
  • Ascheraden (Aizkraukle, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Ass (Kiltsi, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Bäslack (Bezławki, Poland)
  • Balga (Balga, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Barten (Barciany, Poland)
  • Bauske (Bauska, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Bebern
  • Berson (Bērzaune, Latvia)
  • Birgelau (Bierzgłowo, Poland)
  • Borkholm (Porkuni, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Brandenburg (Ushakovo, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Burtneck (Burtnieki, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of lower officials
  • Bütow (Bytów, Poland)
  • Caymen (Zarechye, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Danzig (Gdańsk, Poland)
  • Dibau (Podgórz, Poland)
  • Doblen (Dobele, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Domnau (Domnovo, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Dondangen (Dundaga, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Dorpat (Tartu, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Dünaburg (Daugavpils, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Dünamünde (Daugavgrīva, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Durben (Durbe, Latvia)
  • Eckersburg (Okartowo, Poland)
  • Edwahlen (Ēdole, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Engelsburg (Pokrzywno, Poland)
  • Elbing (Elbląg, Poland)
  • Erlaa (Ērgļi, Latvia)
  • Ermes (Ērģeme, Latvia)
  • Falkenau (Kärkna, Estonia) - monastery
  • Fellin (Viljandi, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Fickel (Vigala, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Georgenburg (Mayovka, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Goldingen (Kuldīga, Latvia)
  • Gollub (Golub-Dobrzyń, Poland)
  • Graudenz (Grudziądz, Poland)
  • Grobin (Grobiņa, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Groß Roop (Lielstraupe, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Hapsal (Haapsalu, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Hasenpoth (Aizpute, Latvia)
  • Heilsberg (Lidzbark Warmiński, Poland)
  • Helmat (Helme, Estonia) - a genuine order castle
  • Hochrosen (Augstroze, Latvia)
  • Hofzumberg (Tērvete, Latvia)
  • Holme (Mārtiņsala, Latvia)
  • Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Jaschnitz (Nowy Jasiniec, Poland)
  • Johannisburg (Pisz, Poland)
  • Kalzenau (Kalsnava, Latvia)
  • Kandau (Kandava, Latvia)
  • Karkus (Karksi, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Kirrumpäh (Kirumpää, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Königsberg (Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) - a genuine order castle, seat of Grand Master
  • Kokenhusen (Koknese, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Kremon (Krimulda, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Kyda (Kiiu, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Labiau (Polessk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Lais (Laiuse, Estonia) - a genuine order castle
  • Lamgraben (Grabno, Poland)
  • Leal (Lihula, Estonia) - built and held jointly by order and bishop
  • Lemsal (Limbaži, Latvia)
  • Leipe (Lipienek, Poland)
  • Lennewarden (Lielvārde, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Lochstädt (Baltiysk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Loxten (Lokstene, Latvia)
  • Ludsen (Ludza, Latvia) - a genuine order castle
  • Lyck (Ełk, Poland)
  • Marienburg (Alūksne, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Marienburg (Malbork, Poland) - a genuine order castle, seat of Grand Master
  • Marienwerder (Kwidzyn, Poland)
  • Mehlsack (Pieniężno, Poland)
  • Memel (Klaipėda, Lithuania) - a genuine order castle
  • Mewe (Gniew, Poland)
  • Mohrungen (Morąg, Poland)
  • Mojahn (Mujāni, Latvia)
  • Narwa (Narva, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Neidenburg (Nidzica, Poland)
  • Nessau (Nieszawa, Poland)
  • Neuenburg (Jaunpils, Latvia) - a genuine order castle
  • Neuermühlen (Ādaži, Latvia)
  • Neuhausen (Guryevsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Neuhausen (Valtaiķi, Latvia)
  • Neuhausen (Vastseliina, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Neu Kirchholm (Salaspils, Latvia)
  • Neuschloß (Vasknarva, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Oberpahlen (Põltsamaa, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of bailiff
  • Odenpäh (Otepää, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Ortelsburg (Szczytno, Poland)
  • Ossiek (Osiek, Poland)
  • Osterode (Ostróda, Poland)
  • Padis (Padise, Estonia) - monastery
  • Papau (Papowo Biskupie, Poland)
  • Pernau (Pärnu, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of bailiff
  • Peude (Pöide, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of bailiff
  • Pilten (Piltene, Latvia)
  • Pöddes (Kalvi, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Preußisch Holland (Pasłęk, Poland)
  • Preußisch Mark (Przezmark, Poland)
  • Ragnit (Neman, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Rastenburg (Kętrzyn, Poland)
  • Reval (Tallinn, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Rheden (Radzyń Chełmiński, Poland)
  • Rhein (Ryn, Poland)
  • Riesenburg (Prabuty, Poland)
  • Riga (Riga, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of Grand Master
  • Rössel (Reszel, Poland)
  • Rodenpois (Ropaži, Latvia)
  • Roggenhausen (Rogóźno-Zamek, Poland)
  • Ronneburg (Rauna, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Rosenberck (Susz, Poland)
  • Rositten (Rēzekne, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Rujen (Rūjiena, Latvia)
  • Saalau (Żuława, Poland)
  • Salis (Salacgrīva, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Schaaken (Nekrasovo, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Schlochau (Człuchów, Poland)
  • Schönberg (Skaistkalne, Latvia)
  • Schönsee (Kowalewo Pomorskie, Poland)
  • Schwanenburg (Gulbene, Latvia)
  • Schwetz (Świecie, Poland)
  • Seehesten (Szestno, Poland)
  • Segewold (Sigulda, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of Land Marshal
  • Selburg (near modern Vecsēlpils, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Sesswangen (Cesvaine, Latvia)
  • Smilten (Smiltene, Latvia)
  • Soldau (Działdowo, Poland)
  • Sonnenburg (Maasi, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Straßburg (Brodnica, Poland)
  • Stuhm (Sztum, Poland)
  • Tapiau (Gvardeysk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Taplaken (Talpaki, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Tarwast (Tarvastu, Estonia) - a genuine order castle
  • Terweten (Tērvete, Latvia)
  • Tolsburg (Toolse, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Thorn (Toruń, Poland) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commandery
  • Treyden (Turaida, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Trikaten (Trikāta, Latvia)
  • Tuchel (Tuchola, Poland)
  • Tuckum (Tukums, Latvia)
  • Türpsal (Järve, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Uexküll (Ikšķile, Latvia)
  • Villack (Viļaka, Latvia) - a bishop castle
  • Wack (Vao, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Waldau (Nizovye, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
  • Warbeck (Uue-Kastre, Estonia) - bishop castle
  • Weißenstein (Paide, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Welsas (Wieldządz, Poland)
  • Wenden (Cēsis, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of Grand Master
  • Werder (Virtsu, Estonia) - vassal castle
  • Wesenberg (Rakvere, Estonia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a bailiff
  • Windau (Ventspils, Latvia) - a genuine order castle, seat of a commander
  • Wolkenburg (Volkenberga, Latvia)
  • Wolmar (Valmiera, Latvia)
  • Zlotterie (Złotoria, Poland)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Krahe, Friedrich-Wilhelm (2000). Burgen des deutschen Mittelalters. Grundriss-Lexikon (in German). Flechsig. ISBN 3-88189-360-1.