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The Maasi Fortress

These are the ruins of a fortress that was established by the Livonian Order in 1345.

Building this fortress was actually meant as a punishment to the natives of Saaremaa. During  the uprisings of St. George's Night (1343) the islanders had destroyed the stronghold at Pöide and killed all the Germans in it. This explains also the origin of the German name of the Maasi fortress – Soneburg. This means a penalty fortress.

The conflict between Denmark and Sweden proved to be fatal for the Maasi fortress. In addition to the earlier possessions in 1564 the Danish king also bought the territory of Saaremaa`s order. The Swedes managed to occupy Maasi fortress two times, in 1568 and in 1575, but only for short time periods. When the Danish king Frederik II understood that the enemy could too easily make the fortress its stronghold, he gave an order to blow up Maasi fortress in 1576.

During excavation explorers have discovered a first floor with vaulted ceilings and a gate that have in most part been preserved. Also the second and third floor have been preserved in some part. This is a lot more than assumed earlier!  

The Maasi FortressThe Maasi FortressThe Maasi FortressThe Maasi Fortress
Aaddress:Lahe village, Orissaare parish, Estonia