Places of interest in Kuressaare
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 I half of the 17th century. Earlier the town center 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.
Kuressaare is very small and one can easily take walking tours in the town.
The first tour - from the Central Square (from the Town Hall) along Lossi Street to the Kuressaare Episcopal Castle.
The secound tour - along Tallinna Street up to the bus station.
Kuressaare Episcopal Castle
The most important sight in Kuressaare is the episcopal (bishop's) castle. Among the medieval castles in the Baltic countries this is the one that has survived best.
The castle was built of chiselled dolomite blocks in the late 14th century. The basic plan of the building is a square with sides 43 metres.
1 Lossihoov Str.
The county museum founded in 1865, is located in the mediaeval bishopric castle of the 14th century that is surrounded by the 15th - 18th century forts. There is a large exposition of the history and nature of Saaremaa; about 30 art, history etc. exhibitions a year; concerts of classical music.
The Town Hall
The Town Hall was completed in 1670. Today the Town Hall Gallery exhibits art there and it is possible to have a look at the interior of the building.
The Tourist Information Office is also situated in the Town Hall.
The Weighhouse stands at the central square, just opposite the Town Hall. The Weighhouse was built in 1666 to keep the public scales in there, while the central square served as the market place. This is the only building of that type having survived in Estonia.
Monument in honour the islanders that lost their lives in the war for independence
(sculptor: Amandus Adamson) is situated in the triangular square at the corner of Lossi and Kauba streets and was erected in 1928. It was reconstructed and re-erected in 1990. Near the monument there is a big tree, planted by the President of Estonia K.Päts.
The Resort Club
The Resort Club (called Kurhouse or Kursaal after the German word for a hall at a seaside resort) in the park was set up in 1861 after the project of the town architect C. Lorenzen. The main accent of the architecture lies in the wooden construction, columns and diagonal supports. The Resort Club was reconstructed in 1988 (architects M. Tääker and A. Buldas).
St. Laurence Church
The Church of Holy Lawrence was built at its present site in the 17th century, but the initial building has not survived. It burnt down and was rebuilt several times. The late Classicist Style building that has been preserved until our days was built in 1836.
The House of the Law Court
The Early Classicist Style building of the Law Court was in architectural sense one of the most outstanding houses in Livonia. It was designed to serve as a law court, police station and prison in 1786 by the architect von Richter, built in 1789 - 1790 under supervision of the former chief of the engineer detachment in Riga Johann Fr. Oettinger.
The House of the Nobility
The House of the Nobility was built by von Dellingshausen at the end of the 18th century, now it accommodates the County Government of Saaremaa. From the beginning of the 19th century the house belonged to the Nobility of Saaremaa, from 1912 to the Noblemen's club Ressource. The County Government of Saaremaa bought the house in 1920.
The Town Park
The town park was set up around the castle in 1861. By now its territory has grown to 17 hectars. In 1920 - ies the main attention was payed to the restauration work after World War I. New rare tree species were ordered from Tartu University and planted in 1930 - ies. There are now about 80 species of trees and bushes growing in the park.
On the north - eastern edge of Kuressaare there is the most interesting cemetery in Saaremaa. It is a unique graveyard with the classicistic chapels, crypt or chamber graves and monuments made of dolomite. The cemetery is rich in ashlers and forgings. The oldest grave dates back to the year 1787.
Home Museum of Aavik Family
An exposition about the life and activity of the outstanding linguist Johannes Aavik (1880 - 1973) and his cousin Joosep Aavik (1899 - 1989) that was a well - know musician and composter. Historic interior of their living rooms.
Museums Haamers' House
Haamers' exhibition house at Vallimaa Street is built on the grounds of the family home of the three Haamer brothers who are all well known in Saaremaa - the engineer Eugen Haamer, pastor Harri Haamer and painter Eerik Haamer.