The House of Tiesenhausen is the name of an old Baltic-German noble family. The origins of the family are in Lower Saxony. During the Baltic crusades they settled in Livonia in the first half of the 12th century. Bishops Albert of Riga and Herman of Tartu had a sister whose husband Engelbertus de Tisenhuse was the progenitor of the family in the Baltic. After some time in southern Livonia in the early stages of occupation, Engelbertus joined his brother-in-law bishop Herman to obtain the northern Livonian country of Ugaunia around Otepää and Tartu. It was Ugaunia where the family held its main early properties and positions. Engelbertus' son married a daughter of the castellan of Koknese in Latgale and through this marriage, the family claims descent from indigenous princes of the Latgalians. Some branches of Tisenhusen clan settled later to the Latvian Vidzeme holdings of Ergli and Berzaune. From the ancestral place of Ugaunia, sons of the family managed to obtain estates in other parts of Estonia, also so-called Danish Estonia and Osilia-Rotalia, both by services and by marriages. (Raplamaa was apparently a favorite place in northern Estonia for them to obtain estates.)
In Livonia they became one of the wealthiest and most important noble lineages between the 14th and 16th centuries. During the changeful history of Livonia several members of the family served under various suzerains, first under the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Knights and later in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth ("Tyzenhauz"), Swedish and Tsarist Russian ("Тизенгаузен") service.
The history of Latvia began around 9000 BC with the end of the last glacial period in northern Europe. Ancient Baltic peoples arrived in the area during the second millennium BC, and four distinct tribal realms in Latvia's territory were identifiable towards the end of the first millennium AD. Latvia's principal river Daugava, was at the head of an important trade route from the Baltic region through Russia into southern Europe and the Middle East that was used by the Vikings and later Nordic and German traders.
Livonia or in earlier records Livland, is a historical region on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It is named after the Livonians, who lived on the shores of present-day Latvia.
The Northern Crusades or Baltic Crusades were Christian colonization and Christianization campaigns undertaken by Catholic Christian military orders and kingdoms, primarily against the pagan Baltic, Finnic and West Slavic peoples around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, and also against Orthodox Christian Slavs.
Baltic Germans are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, in what today are Estonia and Latvia. Since their resettlement in 1945 after the end of World War II, Baltic Germans have markedly declined as a geographically determined ethnic group in the region.
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword was a Catholic military order established in 1202 during the Livonian Crusade by Albert, the third bishop of Riga. Pope Innocent III sanctioned the establishment in 1204 for the second time. The membership of the crusading order comprised warrior monks, mostly from northern Germany, who fought Baltic and Finnic polytheists in the area of modern-day Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Alternative names of the Order include Christ Knights, Swordbrothers, Sword Brethren, Order of the Brothers of the Sword, and The Militia of Christ of Livonia. The seal reads: +MAGISTRI ETFRM MILICIE CRI (Christi) DE LIVONIA.
Saare County is one of 15 counties of Estonia. It consists of Saaremaa, the largest island of Estonia, and several smaller islands near it, most notably Muhu, Ruhnu, Abruka and Vilsandi. The county borders Lääne County to the east, Hiiu County to the north, and Latvia to the south. In 2022 Saare County had a population of 31,292, which was 2.4% of the population of Estonia.
The Livonians, or Livs, are a Balto-Finnic people indigenous to northern and northwestern Latvia. Livonians historically spoke Livonian, a Uralic language closely related to Estonian and Finnish. Initially, the last person to have learned and spoken Livonian as a mother tongue, Grizelda Kristiņa, died in 2013, making Livonian a dormant language. In 2020, it was reported that newborn Kuldi Medne had once again become the only living person who speaks Livonian as their first language. As of 2010, there were approximately 30 people who had learned it as a second language.
Albert of Riga or Albert of Livonia or Albrecht; c.1165 – 17 January 1229) was the third Catholic Bishop of Riga in Livonia. In 1201, he allegedly founded the city of Riga, the modern capital of Latvia. The building of the Riga Cathedral started during his tenure there in 1221.
The Livonian War (1558–1583) was fought for control of Old Livonia. The Tsardom of Russia faced a varying coalition of the Dano-Norwegian Realm, the Kingdom of Sweden, and the Union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland.
Koknese is a town in Aizkraukle Municipality in the Vidzeme region of Latvia, on the right bank of the Daugava River. It has a population of nearly 3,000.
Ikšķile is a town in Latvia, in Ogre Municipality. It was the first capital of the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Livonia, known by the German name of Üxküll. Saint Meinhard, known from the Livonian Chronicle of Henry, was the first bishop of Üxküll. In 1197 Berthold of Hanover, a Cistercian abbot of Loccum, was made the second bishop of Üxküll. Those days the town was the center of the upcoming crusading activities in the Livonian area. Bishop Berthold moved the episcopal see to Riga, but was killed by the Livs in battle.
Baltic German nobility was a privileged social class in the territories of today's Estonia and Latvia. It existed continuously since the Northern Crusades and the medieval foundation of Terra Mariana. Most of the nobility were Baltic Germans, but with the changing political landscape over the centuries, Polish, Swedish and Russian families also became part of the nobility, just as Baltic German families re-settled in locations such as the Swedish and Russian Empires. The nobility of Lithuania is for historical, social and ethnic reasons separated from the German-dominated nobility of Estonia and Latvia.
The Tyzenhaus family was a noble family of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth of German extraction. It was active in the Duchy of Livonia, Duchy of Courland and the northern Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Among the best-known members of the family were Gothard Jan Tyzenhaus, the Voivode of Dorpat (1634–1640), Konstanty Tyzenhaus (1786–1853), ornithologist, and Antoni Tyzenhaus (1733–1785), the manager of royal property during the reign of Stanisław August Poniatowski. Antoni built Tyzenhaus Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. In Rokiškis, northern Lithuania, the family also built neogothic church of St. Matthias and a palace, which houses Rokiškis Regional Museum.
The Livonian crusade consists of the various military Christianisation campaigns in medieval Livonia – modern Latvia and Estonia – during the Papal-sanctioned Northern Crusades in the 12–13th century. The Livonian crusade was conducted mostly by the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Denmark. It ended with the creation of Terra Mariana and the Danish duchy of Estonia. The lands on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea were one of the last parts of Europe to be Christianised.
Latvia–Lithuania relations are bilateral international relations between Latvia and Lithuania. Latvia has an embassy in Vilnius, and Lithuania has an embassy in Riga. The two states share 588 kilometres (365 mi) of common border. Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
Dinaburga Castle, also known as Vecdaugavpils or Vecpils, is a castle located in Naujene Parish, Augšdaugava Municipality in the Latgale region of Latvia, east of Daugavpils. It is strategically situated on a high bank of the Daugava River. It was built between 1273 and 1277 by the Livonian Order, and destroyed by Russian troops before 1577. Nowadays, fragments of the foundation are exposed.
The Treaty of Vilnius or Vilna was concluded on 28 November 1561, during the Livonian War, between the Livonian Confederation and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vilnius. With the treaty, the non-Danish and non-Swedish part of Livonia, with the exception of the Free imperial city of Riga, subjected itself to the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sigismund II Augustus with the Pacta subiectionis (Provisio ducalis). In turn, Sigismund granted protection from the Tsardom of Russia and confirmed the Livonian estates' traditional privileges, laid out in the Privilegium Sigismundi Augusti.
The Livonian Knighthood was a fiefdom that existed in Livonia. It was formed in 1561 by Baltic German nobles and disbanded in 1917 in Estonia, and in 1920 in Latvia. Like other Baltic knighthoods, the Livonian also had semi-autonomous privileged status in the Russian Empire.
Terra Mariana was the official name for Medieval Livonia or Old Livonia. It was formed in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade, and its territories were composed of present-day Estonia and Latvia. It was established on 2 February 1207, as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, but lost this status in 1215 when Pope Innocent III proclaimed it as directly subject to the Holy See.
The Wahlfamily is a noble family originating in Scotland which later settled in the Baltic states.