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Aluksne Livonian Order castle ruins
Livonian Order finished the construction of a stone castle on the biggest of the islands in Lake Aluksne - Pilssala (Castle island) in 1342, it was confirmed on the day of the Annunciation of Mary and thus this place gained a new name – Marienburg.
Over the centuries the governors of the church have changed, it used to be owned by Russians, Swedes and Polish. The Great Northern War turned out to be fatal for both the castle and Aluksne. Already in August, 1702, the Russian army under the leadership of count Boris Sheremetyev entered Aluksne. To not leave the castle to the Russians, the Swedish captain Wolf blew it up. Furious about this act Russian army burned down the settlement and killed or took in captivity all of its inhabitants.
The inhabitants of Aluksne still commemorate a girl named Mary, who was told to be immured in one of the walls of the castle, for that reason the island the castle was standing on is called both the Castle island and the island of Mary.
Nowadays there is an open-air stage in the castle ruins. You can reach the Castle island using a wooden bridge renovated in 2007.
After the Great Northern War the fortress was never renewed to its original mightiness, its model can be seen in Aluksne Museum.