Rampart hill Vallimägi gives dignity to Paide
When you arrive to Paide via the highways you will miss the swamps (Mündi swamp and Prääma bog) surrounding the Järva County center. The church tower and another stone erection are well seen from a long distance.
Yellowed travel guide explains: “Who travels to Paide sees through the green tree tops the top of the fortress tower from a long distance. What kind of stories these ruins could tell if they could speak.”
Rampart hill altogether with the limestone fortress have been the pride of Paide for centuries and it is eye-catching even today. This 13th century fortress built on the upriver of Pärnu River is second Teutonic Order built on Estonian soil.
This kind of dignified building needs a proper location to be built on. For this purpose this height in the middle of swamp area was chosen. It is Paide drumlin belonging to Türi drumlins with absolute height of 60-65 meters and besieged from north by Prääma swamp and bog and from south and east Pärnu River.
Material for the fortress came from nearby. The quarry was a half to kilometer away. Local rock was yellowish white fine cavernosal limestone. The quarries have lost into today’s street network of Paide but one street still bears the name Kivimurru (Quarry’s). Later days the quarries were in Mündi.
Since the time Paide got its town rights in 1291 it is situated in the centre of North-Estonian plateau on a moraine height between the Rivers Pärnu and Reopalu.
Paide is the only town in Estonia which has its name origin in geology. It owns its name to the massive limestone areas nearby: Paide is an adaptation of original Paede, mother tongue word “pae”. Even the earlier names Wittenstein and Weissenstein refer to it: white stone town. Next to wood limestone was one of the most widely used local building materials.
Next to limestone white the other colors to identify Paide are green and blue. There is lots of green and parks in the town, largest of them Lembitu park; in the towns eastern boundary is a picturesque artificial lake which is superb for swimming and fishing.
* Next to Paide church gates grow elderly and unique silver birches.
* Paide is encircled by Esna and Pärnu River and the beautiful artificial lake is situated in their confluence.
* Paide is not only the rampart hill Vallimägi and fortress. Southwest of rampart hill is a beautiful old town, which is well preserved with its classicist and historicist buildings. This part of town has been declared milieu valuable zone.