Balga Castle

Gergdauen Castle

Insterburg Castle

Labiau Castle

Neuhausen Castle

Ragnit Castle

Saalua Castle

Taplacken Castle

Waldau Castle




Waldau Castle...

Waldau Castle in Nizovye (Guryevsk District)

Having subjugated the old Baltic Prussian lands of Pomesania, Pogesania and Warmia, the Teutonic Knights undertook large-scale construction of roads and castles. They raised a fortress every 15-20 kilometers, as this was the distance that a fully equipped foot knight could cover in a day. The Teutonic Order continued their invasion of the eastern part of Sambia, towards Nadrovia.

The earliest official mention of building a fortress in Waldau comes from a chronicle dating to 1258. The name of the castle derives from the Baltic Prussian language, where it meant 'to own'. And in fact, the surrounding lands belonged to two Prussian landowners: Brulant and Diabel, who were called 'tenants' or 'dukes'. In 1264, the dukes were obliged by the Teutonic Knights to set up an inn, in which Teutonic knights, clergymen and soldiers would stay. There, travelling merchants would spend time discussing the ups and downs of commerce over a pint of barley beer or a bottle of cider.

When the lands of Nadrovia and Sudovia had been occupied by the tribe of Yotvingians, the border between the Monastic State of the Teutonic Order and Lithuania moved eastwards. As a result, the fortress of Waldau ceased to serve a defensive role. In 1457 the old building was converted into a residential castle, which from then on served as a summer residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. When the Order was secularised in 1525, the castle turned into a seat for the administrative authorities in the district of Waldau. In 1858 an agricultural school was established in the castle. Afterwards the castle was completely redesigned and changed into a popular school for teachers.

The history of Waldau Castle contains one event which, on the initiative of local people, was commemorated in 1997 by placing a plaque on the walls of the castle. On 17th (27th) May 1697, the castle hosted Russian emissaries, headed by Admiral Franc Jakovlewitz Lefort (1656 - 1699). The Tsar's chronicler wrote on that day: "Tsar Peter I arrived on this day to enquire about the wellbeing of the emissaries and to finally confirm the meeting ceremony with Kurfürst (The Prince Elector of the German Reich). In the evening, Tsar Peter I left for Königsburg and the Russian emissaries set off from Waldau early morning the next day."

Today the castle in Nizovye, despite its old age, makes a great impression on the visitors. Parts of the former castle outbuildings have remained until today and the castle itself still houses an agricultural school.

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