Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/31551
Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Rūkas, Eugenijus
Title: Pirmoji Kauno pilis ir kovos su Vokiečių ordinu Kauno apylinkėse iki XV a. pradžios (skiriama 650-osioms Kauno pilies gynimo metinėms)
Other Title: The first castle of Kaunas and the fights with the Teutonic Order in Kaunas district until the beginning of the 15th century
Is part of: Kauno istorijos metraštis, 2013, nr. 13, p. 221-238
Date: 2013
Keywords: LDK;Vokiečių ordinas;Livonijos ordinas;Salyno taikos sutartis;Racionžo taikos sutartis;Kaunas;Kauno pilis;Grand Duchy of Lithuania;Teutonic Order;Livonian Order;Archipelagic peace;Racionžo peace;Kaunas castle
Abstract: The war between the Lithuanians and the Teutonic Order in Prussia began in 1283. Until the middle of the 14th century, the Order would attack the western part of Lithuania. With the destruction of the Kaunas stone castle in spring 1362, the Order began to organize intensive attacks of the heart of the Lithuanian state and marches to Trakai and Vilnius. The Livonian Order was devastating the northern Lithuania. The function of the first Kaunas castle, built in 1361-1362, was to protect the state from the west and secure the waterway to Vilnius by the river Neris. Kaunas castle was the first of the four fence-type stone castles built in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 14th century (Medininkai, Lyda and Krėva castles were built in 1370-1380). The smallest in size, the Kaunas castle was the last to be taken by the army of the Teutonic Order. Finally, it was demolished and never rebuilt. The siege and assault of the castle occurred on March 29th-April 17th, 1362. The crusaders from Prussia were joined by guest knights from England, Italy, Germany and the army of the Livonian Order. 350 Lithuanian fighters died, whereas 36 survivors and the duke Vaidotas were taken captive. The crusaders demolished the castle and burned the eastern settlements. After the destruction of the Kaunas castle, the surroundings at the confluences of the Nemunas, Neris and Nevėžis became the war front. The fights between the Lithuanians and the Order lasted until the beginning of the 15th century. In 1363-1369, the castles of New Kaunas and Gotteswerder on the island of Virgalė were constantly fought for. The crusaders destroyed the castles of Pieštvė and Veliuona in 1363, the Paštuva castle in 1370, and the Eiguliai castle in 1382. In 1384, the Lithuanians destroyed Marienwerder, the most powerful castle of crusaders in Lithuania built at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris, whereas in 1392 – a wooden castle of Ritersveder near Kaunas. Only around 1396, the first wooden and earthen defensive constructions were built on the ruins of the first Kaunas castle (burnt by Lithuanians in 1401). In 1402, the Lithuanians burnt the Gotteswerder castle. The last record of crusader attack in Kaunas was in 1403. In 1404, Lithuania and the Order signed a peace treaty of Raciąż. During the period of peace in 1404-1409 (until the uprising of Samogitians against the Order), in the place of the first castle, the second castle of Kaunas was built, the remains of which have survived to the present days. The new castle with a crew of 600 people is mentioned in the letter of the Komtur of Ragainė for the Grand Master of the Order, in November, 1409. The existing interpretations that Kaunas castle was rebuilt in 1363, 1368 or 1369 are false as these dates are related to the castles of the New Kaunas or Gotteswerder, situated on the island of Virgalė. Also, the stereotypical claim that Kaunas castle was constantly attacked by crusaders is also ungrounded as it is evident that the castle was attacked and destroyed only in the spring of 1362, whereas the second castle was never attacked.
Internet: https://eltalpykla.vdu.lt/1/31551
https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/31551
Appears in Collections:Kauno istorijos metraštis 2013, nr. 13

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