Rakvere – The town of the aurochs

In the north of Estonia lies Rakvere which is one of the oldest towns in the whole country. It was first mentioned in 1250 and received its town charter under the Danish rule in 1302. That marked the beginning of a shaking town history. The first chapter was the occupation of the Teutonic Knights only a few decades later.


Der Eingang zur Burg
Entrance to the castle.

At the moment, there are around 17.000 people living in Rakvere, which makes it quite a big town for Estonia. It is among the ten biggest urban areas in Estonia.


Tourists will probably first notice the mighty knight's castle of Rakvere. It is an ideal destination for families with children who want to spend a nice day out.


The maze of tiny corridors and numerous medieval attractions make the castle area particularly exiting for children. Archery and a gunshot for every birthday child transform the castle into a historic playground.


Auerochse von Rakvere
The aurochs of Rakvere.

Rakvere is also very famous for its “Tarvas” statue. The gorgeous sculpture of an aurochs was made by an Estonian sculptor, Tauno Kangro. It is situated on the edge of the Hill Vallimägi and was established for Rakvere’s 700th birthday.


It is the largest animal statue in the whole Baltic area. Including the base, it is 7 meters long, 4 meters high and weighs 7 tons.


Rakvere Museum and the church, built in the 14th century are also worth seeing. You may discover some magnificent traditional wooden buildings in some parts of the town, but there are less beautiful areas too.


Innenhof der Burg
Attractions of the castle: torture chamber, archery, wine cellar and castle tavern.

A far more important attraction, Lahemaa National Park, that offers a unique experience for all nature lovers, is around 10 kilometers north of the town.


On one hand, the historic part of Rakvere provides an opportunity to experience an adventure in a medieval surrounding. On the other hand, it is the perfect starting point for day trips to one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the Baltic countries.


In recent years, this combination has attracted more and more international tourists and is thus a very welcome development for Rakvere.



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