Balga Castle

Gergdauen Castle

Insterburg Castle

Labiau Castle

Neuhausen Castle

Ragnit Castle

Saalua Castle

Taplacken Castle

Waldau Castle




Saalua Castle...

Saalua Castle in Kamenskoye (Chernyakhovsk District)

Between Insterburg and Königsburg, on the two sides of the Pregel River, there once stood pairs of twin strongholds. For example, the fortresses in Wehlau and Taplaken supported each other; the fortress in Norkitten had a strong bond with the castle in Saalau.

The Knights of the Teutonic Order appeared on this land in 1257. In 1352, when the Prussian lands were divided between the Church and the Monastic Order, Saalau and the surrounding lands were ceded to the Church. In 1355, the Church had already built here a Chapter House, known as the Cathedral Chancery. The building however was burnt down several times during Lithuanian raids. So in 1376 the Church authorities made a decision to raise a brick fortress, the so-called 'Kapitelburg'.

This did not deter the Lithuanians from attacking the settlement and destroying the fort again, in 1390. In the same year, works on constructing a new and more powerful castle began. They were completed in just five years.
The construction of the castle was accompanied by the colonisation of the lands along the upper course of the Pregel River. Colonists from German countries were brought to this area, where they mingled and assimilated with the local Prussian folk. At the foot of the castle a small town rose, with two competing inns.

It can be hypothesised that the name 'Saalau' derives from the Old Prussian word 'sal', which meant salt. From the earliest times, the native people of this land excavated salt from underground ores, dried it, packed and sent to their southern neighbours, the Barts, either for sale or as a barter trade product.
When the Teutonic State was dissolved in 1525, Saalau was turned into a centre for local administration. In the 16th century the castle was ravaged by a fire, after which it was demolished.

Now the only remaining traces of the castle are some impressive ruins. The 18th century church, located on the other side of the road leading to the town, has had more luck. In the Soviet times, it was used as a club and a cinema and this has saved it from being pulled down.

On the trail of the castles in the Baltic Sea region - revitalization and promotion of the objects