Tukums Castle Tower

Sestdiena, 21.06.2014, 07:31

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Castle Tower is a fragment of the oldest stone building in Tukums – the castle of the Livonian Order. It is known that in 1299, the master of the Livonian Order, Gottfried von Rogge, built a palisade or log building which he called the Tukums Castle.

A new castle was built by Livonian Order master Eberhard von Monnheim during the 1330s. The castle mostly served the economic needs of the Livonian Order. The only known drawing of it is found in the chronicle of Jurgen Helms, as reproduced in the 18th century by Johann Christoph Brotze.

In the 17th century, the Tukums Castle served as the residence of the castle master of the Duchy of Courland and Zemgale, but it was sacked in 1709. The stones from the castle were used to build many other buildings. During the 1770s, a prison was built at the north-western corner of the collapsed castle. Around 1814, the prison was turned into a warehouse, and that was its function throughout the 19th century and most of the 20th century.

During the Soviet occupation, the militia kept items that it had confiscated in the warehouse – various instruments and transport vehicles. Technical blueprints for the establishment of the museum were prepared in 1978.

The Tukums town Museum of History has been in the building that is now known as the Castle Tower since 1995. It offers a permanent exhibition about the history of Tukums, as well as various thematic exhibitions.