Kuressaare is the main and the only city on Saaremaa Island. Kuressaare was officially declared a town in 1563 by Duke Magnus, brother of the Danish king Frederik II. The town centre of Kuressaare lies at its present place from the 1st half of the 17th century. Earlier the town centre was situated closer to the castle. The downtown with its small triangular squares took shape at the end of the 17th century and, being continuously restored, is now quite a sight.
Panoramic tour of Kuressaare. We will begin our tour with the central square that used to serve as a market place to the first habitants of Kuressaare and the Town Hall constructed there in 1670. Than, we will see the Monument in honour the islands’ warriors that lost their lives in the war for independence. Close to the central city square in front of the town hall there is a noteworthy building of Kuressaare Weighhouse, built in 1663. We will also admire the charming building of the Resort Club, a beautiful example of the late 19th century wooden architecture. We will finish our tour in the Town Park which lies around the Episcopal castle.
Visit of Kuressaare Episcopal Castle. The most important sight in Kuressaare. Among the medieval castles in the Baltic countries this is the one that has survived best. The castle is a magnificent example of the late Gothic style in the architecture of fortifications. It was built of chiselled dolomite blocks in the late 14th century and is surrounded by the 15th – 18th century forts. The basic plan of the building is a square with two towers on the northern side: The Watch Tower and the Defence Tower. The extreme strictness of the exterior and the monumental heaviness form an organic union that dominates despite its simplicity. Today the castle houses Saaremaa Museum with its history and nature departments. There is a large exposition of the history and nature of Saaremaa; about 30 exhibitions a year; concerts of classical music. The architectural style, modesty, strictness, grand and monumental beauty offers you not only an aesthetic view but also many-sided historical information, you will feel the sense of the past and experience the Middle Ages.