Outlines of the Maasilinn Harbour PDF Prindi

Outlines of the Maasilinn Harbour

On the north-eastern coast of Saaremaa, 4 km from the village of Orissaare are situated the ruins of the Maasilinn Order Castle. Unfortuna-tely the castle that governed Eastern Saaremaa in the years 1345-1576 and the economical significance of the harbour belonging to it, have been studied comparatively little up to now.

After the suppression of the islanders' big uprising in 1345 the Livonian Order apparently built its new stronghold in Maasi just because here they found a harbour of favorable depth and geographical position. It is highly probable that earlier the ancient castle of the islanders, Mapenzar was situated at the same place.

The old, presumable the main harbour of the Order, Tornimäe, that had become shallow by then was also located in the same parish of Pöide which was the main grain storage in Saaremaa. Maasi was also in a favourable position to hold the connection with the other possessions of the Order on the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu.

New interest in the Maasilinn harbour was aroused by a ship wreck dating back to the 16th century. It was found near the harbour in 1986 and next year was lifted from the bottom of the sea. As the lighter-type ship had carried lime, it is highly probable that it was brought for the construction work of the castle that continued even in the middle of the 16th century.

The ship wreck could be connected with the Seven-Year-War (1663-1670) between Sweden and Denmark, the events of which reached also Maasilinn.

Maasilinn Castle was blown up in 1576 by order of the Danish king Frederik II but there are still plenty of unsolved questions in its history.

BRUNO PAO "Yearbook of Saaremaa Museum"

 
 

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