The castle, which has also been known as Isenheim or Alt-Isenheim, was built during interesting times when the late gothic style was disappearing and the renaissance period was just about to start. This is why features characteristic of both styles can be found in the building which have been skilfully fused into a whole throughout the course of building.
In ancient times, the delta of River Purtse was one of the most densely populated regions in Eastern Estonia.
The need to actively protect the area increased after the country was Christianised by the Danes at the beginning of the 13th century. Even the first stone churches in Jõhvi and Lüganuse were fortified. Building of the Purtse vassal stronghold started relatively late, during the time of JAKOB VAN TAUBE (TUVE) in 1533.
Purtse remained in the possession of the Taubes until 1615. After that, ownership of the manor transferred to HEINRICH FLEMING, who belonged to the peerage of Sweden. The party hall of the stronghold was decorated with colourful tiled stoves and baroque leather wallpaper.
Purtse vassal stronghold has been burnt down and rebuilt several times throughout its history. The building suffered particularly badly during the Livonian War and the Great Northern War. The tower and defence floor of the building were destroyed in the Great Northern War (1700-1710).
The lands of Purtse Manor were joined with Püssi Manor after the end of the Great Northern War (1721) and Purtse Castle ended up in the possession of the STACKELBERGS. The manor house was rebuilt several times while under ownership of the Stackelbergs.
The building has had many functions during its existence. It has been the home of a feudal family, offered protection in times of war and in later times it has served as a cold cellar, milk chamber, grain storage, a prison and a workers' residence.
The castle was left in ruins in the 1950s.
However, there was a new beginning to follow: the project created by art historian and Honorary Doctor of the Turku University VILLEM RAAM and architect INNA KOMONIY was completed by the Virumaa Restoration Board under the management of MADI NAPPA.
Purtse Castle was restored from 1987 to 1990 and it won the Best Building in Estonia title in 1991.