Visitors get an exclusive experience by being put into the castle’s jail. There they can listen to the sad story about how Ivo Shenkenberg was taken prisoner near Rakvere castle. The jail is open for visitors only on pre-order and with a guide.
Ivo Schenckenberg Imprisoned
In 1576 AD, the Muscovites who had invaded Livonia had taken over most of the Estonian region, including Rakvere castle. Sweden, who had given a helping hand to Livonia, only held Tallinn and its close surrounding.
In 1577 AD, the Muscovites made their last attempt to subdue whole Livonia and laid siege on Tallinn. A year before, Ivo Schenkenberg, a son of Tallinn’s coiner, had formed a troop from Estonian farmers that became famous fast because of its bold actions. This earned Schenkenberg the nickname “Estonia’s Hannibal”.
27 July 1579, Schenkenberg’s partisans chased Tatars who had been conducting a raid in Harju County and were taking refuge in Rakvere castle. The partisans boldly attacked the Tatars, drove them in the Rakvere gate twice, and killed more than fifty of them.
The Russians and Tatars were much amazed by the small troop’s courage, and thought that they must have a reserve army hidden somewhere in the forest. But when the captured one of Ivo’s men, they learnt that there are no hidden troops, and all the Russians and Tatars attacked Ivo’s men en masse and surrounded them. At that time, Christofer Schenkenberg did not want to surrender himself, but fought bravely until he was killed. Ivo, however, was wounded and captured along with nine men. Some of them were hanged in Rakvere and some were thrown into jail.
When Ivo Schenkenberg was capture, Russians in both Livonia and Russia were so happy and merry as if they had captured a prince. Soon afterwards, he and thirty other prisoners were taken to the Grand Duke in Pskov where he bargained to be set free in exchange of three boyars. His pleading, however, was in vain and he was executed along with his companions, which made the people in Tallinn very sad indeed.