The historical Lõhavere Fortress is located between Tartu and Pärnu in the province of Viljandi.  The fortress was built for Lembitu who was a well-known Estonian military leader.  The fortress, built for defensive purposes, was in use for a period of only 20 years between the end of the 1100s and the beginning of the 1200s.  Lembitu was the first Estonian to be mentioned by name in historical records.  He died in the Battle of St. Matthew’s Day in 1217, and it is likely that the fortress was abandoned at some point thereafter.                

Photo: Metsähallitus / Aino von Boehm

Lõhavere was re-discovered in the 1880s when landowner Jan Jung found structures of the fortress.  According to studies, the fortress has suffered damage from at least two fires.  A lot of historical artefacts such as a bradawls, knives, iron, silver, and bronze jewellery, arrows, swords complete or in fragments have been found in the area.  Many smaller buildings were attached to the fortress, one of them intended for shooting practice.  Today only stone structures of the fortress remain.  There is also a camping site in the area with fireplaces and camping in a tent is possible.  RMK (the State Forest Management Centre) manages the site. 

Photo: Metsähallitus / Aino von Boehm

Lohavere 3 Lohavere 2
Photos: Ly Laanemets

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