: Tartu piiskopilinnus / piiskopilossTitle
: Bishop's castle of Tartu (Dorpat)
My first attempt on reconstruction of the medieval bishop's castle of Tartu. This is probably inaccurate, both in terms of scale and measure, and also in terms of historical accuracy (types of buildings etc.); however, accurate reconstruction is also difficult because the castle has not preserved until today, and there is limited information available on its appearance
The castle was probably built around 1230, on the site of Estonian wooden fortress. It became the residence of the Prince-Bishop of Tartu (Dorpat), who governed a large part of today's South-Eastern Estonia. The medieval castle was damaged in The Livonian War (1558–1583) and destroyed in The Great Northern War (1700–1721).
There are very few sources describing or illustrating how the castle looked like in the medieval times; most of the information comes from later time periods. Probably the best overview of the castle can be obtained from a wooden model of Tartu town fortifications (from 1686), which is currently hiding somewhere in The Swedish Army Museum. This picture does not follow the wooden model very closely, because I discovered close-up photos of the wooden model only after this picture was almost finished.
A lot of questions remain open, including:
** The color of the castle. In the wooden model, both city walls and castle walls are painted red, which suggests that most of the fortifications might have been constructed from red-bricks. However, a small snippet of remaining town wall and historical research
suggests that stone, limestone and bricks were combined in construction of the town wall (and probably also in construction of the castle);
** Was there a church in the castle? Some historic illustrations suggest that there could have been a church with two high towers ( e.g. www.medievalists.net/wp-conten…
** Size and appearence of the castle's towers. Current towers are mostly inspired by illustrations in Osprey military history books, and also a little bit by towers of Turaida castle;
** Surroundings of the castle. How close were town's buildings to the castle? Was there a suburban area next to the castle?