Balga Castle

Gergdauen Castle

Insterburg Castle

Labiau Castle

Neuhausen Castle

Ragnit Castle

Saalua Castle

Taplacken Castle

Waldau Castle




Gergdauen Castle...

Gergdauen Castle in Zheleznodorozhny (Pravdinsky District)

The earth and timber stronghold Gerdauen was constructed by the Teutonic Knights in 1270. After a subsequent Prussian uprising, the Knights were too weak to keep hold of all their fortresses. Gerdauen was burnt down, but once the Prussian uprising was put down, the Teutonic Knights returned here and began to raise new fortifications. By 1310, a new stronghold had been completed. At that time it was guarded by embankments, moats and shelters. Inside the ring of fortifications, stone and brick buildings for a convent of Teutonic brothers were constructed.

Initially the Knights planned that Gerdauen would become a seat of a commander, known as komtur. But this idea was soon relinquished because of the proximity to the Lithuanian lands and frequent attacks staged by Lithuanian troops. Gerdauen for example was attacked in 1336, 1337 and in 1366.

Although in 1406 Gerdauen Castle was surrounded by a ring of fortified walls less than half a century later, in 1455, which was during the Thirteen Years' War, the fortress was severely damaged. In 1670 it stood empty. Soon afterwards it was sold to a private owner. All that had remained of the original buildings were the cellars.

In 1872 a new beautiful palace was raised on this location. Gerdauen flourished until 1814, that is until the outbreak of World War One. In that year, the town was a witness and a victim of a bloody fight with the Russian army. Gerdauen was not rebuilt until 1921.

On 27th January 1945, during the military campaign in East Prussia, the town was seized by the Red Army. This time the town was left nearly intact. Although it is difficult to believe, most of the damage occurred during the pre-war years. The pride of the town, the magnificent palace had been demolosihed down to its foundations. And the church, dating back to the 14th century, was converted into a club and a cinema in the first years after the war. Later on it was used as a civic culture centre.

On the trail of the castles in the Baltic Sea region - revitalization and promotion of the objects