The siege of Võnnu and the Battle of Ümera.

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September 1210

After several forays to Ugaunia, local elders decided to give a more decisive blow to the Germans.

A assault to Võnnu was organized. The old fort, held by the Brotherhood, was besieged. This was located in the park of a later build Võnnu castle, in Pähklimäe (Riekstu kalns, see image).

Estonian assault was fierce, but they soon found out, that additional forces were on their way from Riga. Estonian army decided to pull back, and find a better location to battle the Germans.

The Brotherhood and an army made of Livonians and Latgalians, lead by Kaupo, started to pursue Estonians, but were ambushed on the River of Ümera (Jumara). Estonians drove the confused enemy back, killing and capturing a number of Germans, Livonians and Latgalians during the chase. The prisoners were later tortured to death. The victory of the Estonian army was complete, however, its importance should not be overrated. The number of the fallen and captured Germans was too few for that. Nonetheless, victory rose the morale of the Estonians, and displayed that the invaders can be defeated. Message of the victory was sent to all the counties in Estonia.

Source: Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis: vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Tallinn: Olion. 1990
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006. Image source:

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