Kuressaare Castle

Terje Ugandi


Lossihoov 1, Kuressaare, Estonia


8600 m²


Saaremaa Museum

Interior and Architecture


Exposition Design

studio ARGUS


Margit Argus, Elo Liina Kaivo, Margit Aule, Kristi Merilo


1st phase built

The history of the Kuressaare Castle is truly fascinating, steeped in the medieval Saare-Lääne diocese era (Ecclesia Osiliensis, 1228–1573) – a captivating micro-state of its time. Its current appearance likely emerged in the late 1370s when it was conceived as the bishop of Saaremaa’s residence. Despite being labelled a convention building due to its square shape and four wings, it functioned primarily as the bishop’s abode and administrative centre rather than a convent for brethren. Built with dolomite blocks, its exterior boasts imposing, minimally articulated walls, evoking strength and security. Yet, inside, a cosy and luxurious ambience awaits, adorned with Gothic rhytroid arches and Romanesque pointed arches.
The design of the Kuressaare Castle ticket sales pavilion takes cues from its existing arched doors, offering a nod to tradition. Crafted with simplicity and finished in copper, it exudes a modest yet dignified aura. Echoing this theme, entrances and canopies throughout the fortress also boast copper finishes. Their minimalistic forms and sleek lines reflect a modern Nordic aesthetic, seamlessly integrating with the historical surroundings without overpowering them. 

Nestled amidst the medieval walls of Kuressaare Fortress, we’ve opted for natural copper as our primary material. Copper, embodying wealth, beauty, strength, and purity, adorns our doors, entrance canopies, and stair railings. The marriage of modern Nordic design with the ancient stone fortress walls yields a refreshing, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing design language.

1st phase renovation encompasses essential areas such as the museum shop, ticket office, restrooms, and exhibition halls. Explore the rich heritage of Kuressaare Castle in a refreshed setting!