28 MAY 1628  - 2 OCTOBER 1679  


JACOB STAËL VON HOLSTEIN was born in Pernau on 28th of May 1628. (Elgenstierna, Gustaf p. 505.) According to the shield letter he was Matthias and Elisabeth (Hertwich) fith child. Perhaps his mother died when he was born?


STUDIES AND SCOLARSHIP - According to Ludvig Munte Jacob on the 15 november 1649, after studying mathematics and mechanics, received a scholarship of 200 rdr annually for three years from the livonian state. (Munte, Ludvig fortifikationens historia p. 118). Jacob was at the time 28 years old. I have not been able to find where he studied.


JACOBS TRIPS TO GERMANY, HOLLAND AND ITALLY  - According to professor of architectural history at Utrecht University Konrad Ottenheym Jacob travelled between 1649 and 1652 to Germany, Holland and Italy. 

"Jacob Staël von Holstein (1628–1679) had comparable motives to stay in Holland. He was born in Pärnu (or Pernau, in Estonia, then part of the Swedish empire) as son of Burgomaster Matthias Stahl. Between 1649 and 1652, he travelled to Germany, Holland, and Italy. When he returned in 1652, he entered the Swedish army and was ennobled as Staël von Holstein. He designed fortifications with Eric Dahlberg and became the Swedish artillery commander in Estonia and Livonia responsible for all fortification works there. He was also active as a private architect designing manor houses and city residences (fig. 3). The inventory of his architectural library revealed many Netherlandish publications, such as those by Vredeman de Vries, Hendrick de Keyser, Peter Paul Rubens, Philips Vingboons, Nicolaus Goldmann, as well as Dutch translations of Serlio and Scamozzi." (Ottenheym, Konrad. Foreign Architects in the Low Countries and the use of Prints and Books p. 215).


Jacobs father died on 5 January 1650. In a leagel document 16 march 1650 he is called "monsieur Jacobus Stahl". Why? At that time it was usual to as a student change his name to latin. On the 4th of April 1650 he signed a dokument "herr löjtnant Jacob Stahl". Mr lieutenant Jacob Stahl.  


JUNE – JULY 1652 was LIEUTENANT JACOB STAHL stationed in the Swedish provins Bremen-Verden in lieutenant colone Bengt Horns enlisted infantry regiment in Thomas von Gerstensbergs company 1652/8. This is the first notification I have found in the swedish armys papper (Muster Rull) that is kept in the Swedish Krigsarkiv. Sweden was at that time not at war.


SWEDISH NOBLEMAN 14 OCTOBER 1652 - On 14th of october 1652 the Queen of Sweden Kristina ennobled Jacob Stahl and his brothers och cousins. In the letter patent and grant of arms the family was named Staël von Holstein.


FIRST DANISH WAR - 1657 - 1658 - In june 1657 Denmark declared war against Sweden. At that time Sweden was in war with Polen so it was the perfect time to strick. Karl X Gustav put together 8.500 soldiers and left Polen. 


TREATY OF ROSKILDE - 8 MARCH 1658 - Sweden got Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm from Denmark and Bohuslän and Trondheims couty from Norway.  (Grimberg, Carl Svenska folkets underbara öden III p. 590). It took only 6 moths before the Swedish king started another war against Denmark. 




On 22 SEPTEMBER 1658 - KÖGE was lieutenant colonel Jacob appointed as commendant of the Swedish army´s headquarter in Köge. 


Köge is located by the sea in the eastern part of Jylland 40 km southwest of the danish capital Copenhagen.   


1659 SWEDISH INFANTERY REGEMENT -  LIUTENANT COLONEL JAKOB STAEL COMPANY - NILS BRAHES REGEMENTE 1659/5 - Nils Brahe den yngre (f. 10 april 1633 d. 25 januari 1699). Han utsågs 11 juli 1657 till överste för Upplands regemente till fots och var med på Karl X Gustavs spännande fälttåget från Polen till Danmark. I hans brev till sin farbror under vägen till Danmark "andas en käck förtröstan till truppernas stridsmod och segervana". Hans regemente uppgår då enligt hono till 380 man. Han och hans män var de första som fattade posto framför Itzehoe och anlade löpgravar och jagade ner fienden i dess raveliner. Nils Brahes regemente var med vid intagandet av Fredriksodde. (Svenskt biografiskt lexikon).   


FEBRUARY 11 1659 - THE STORM OF COPENHAGEN - In February, the Swedish army only had Copenhagen´s fortification left to force. Ont the night of February, the Swedish army stormed Copenhagen. The planning for the storming was preceded by great secrecy. However, the Copenhageners were not unware of the Swedes plans of attack. Several Danish spies who had been in Carlstad informed the danish king Fredrik III about the storm ladders and the length of the footbridges. In addition, as late as February 10, a Swedish deserter made his way into Copenhagen, where he annonced that the attack would begin in just a few hours. At midnight, therefore, everyone was at their gates and awaited the assalt. (Ørnbjerg, J p. 12-21).  Before the main attack, three smaller attacks were to be made. The first two, wich included about 2.000 Swedish soldiers, would target the two central access roads at Nørreport and Østerport. General Gustav Banér (1618-1689) and his attackgroup had been given the task of carrying out the attack against  Nørreport. One of the soldiers in the attack group was Jacob Stahl. (Tersmeden, Lars p. 126).


AFTER THE FAILED STORM FEBRUARY 11, 1659 THE SWEDISH KING KARL X GUSTAV GAV ORDERS THAT KÖGE SHOULD BE FORTIFIED - After the unsuccessful storming of Copenhagen, the Swedish king Karl X Gustav ordered that Köge be fortified. Erik Dahlberg, a Swedish military man and architect, was to be in charge of the fortress complex. A very nice map of Köge and a plan for the fortification are preserved made by Erik Dahlberg. Dahlberg left the practical construction of the fortess to Colonel Stahl. He outsorced labor from the surrounding villages. It is estimated that up to 500 people were involved in the extensive work. It went hard to build a fortress rampart around Köge. The monastery church in Vestergard was demolished and the cemetery dug up. Later, around 900 skeletons from the cemetery were found in a mass grave. 

Köge som fästningsby under Karl Gustav-krigerne historiskaatlas.dk 


THE TREATY OF COPENHAGEN 27 MAY 1660 - The dokument was signed on 27 may 1660, and marked the conclusion of the Second Northern War between Sweden and the alliance of Denmark-Norway and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.


CONONEL AND QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL JACOB STAHL - 29 MAY 1660 -After the war Jacob was appointed colonel of the artillery in Estonia, Livonia, Ingermanland and Ösel. (Titularregister till riksregistraturet, Titularregister till riksregistraturet, SE/RA/1112.2/10 (1660-1665), bildid: A0039201_00060)

As a quartermaster-general Jacob was the head of the fortifikation and their staff in Estonia, Livonia, Ingermanland and Ösel. Jacob must have been very happy - the war was over, he was alive and had got a very significant post. 


JACOBS LETTER TO THE SWEDISH QUEEN HEDVIG ELEONORA - GODSET KUJEN - 1661 Jacob wrote a letter (that is now kept in the Swedish Archive in Stockholm) to the Swedish queen Hedvig Eleonora and asked to get back the estate Pelbag. He wrote in the letter that his "salig farfar" had a great pfand in the estate and had mist it during the war in Russia.  In the letter Jacob wrote that he and his brothers were soldiers in the swedish army and some of his brothers had died in battle. Jacob did not get back the estate Pelbag. Insted he got the estate Kujen and Hedenfelt in Lasdohhns parish in the krets Werden not far from Pielbag. I think that Jacob was very happy now. 


Maardu (Maart)

Jacob Staël von Holstein, 1660-talet

Herrgården Maardu finns dokumenterad redan 1397. Huvudbyggnaden som den ser ut idag går tillbaka till tiden när herrgården ägdes av släkten von Fersen. Arkitekten är Jacob Staël von Holstein har ritat flera palats i Tallinn bland annat släkten von Rosens palats på Pikk ganta 28. Byggnaden är idag den svenska ambassaden. Byggnaden är ett vackert exempel på byggnadsstilen palladianism. 


Maardu (Maart)

Jacob Staël von Holstein, 1660s

The Maardu Manor is first mentioned in 1397. The main building as we see it today was built at the time when it was owned by the Fersen family. Its architect – Jacob Staël von Holstein – is known as the author of a number of palaces in Tallinn, including the Rosen Palace on Pikk Street 28 (today the Embassy of Sweden).

The building is a notable example of Palladian architecture in Estonia. It also shows some influence of contemporary Dutch architecture. It was similar to the Palmse and Aa manors, but unlike these it survived the Great Northern War . Some elements – such as the lower wings and the façade decoration – are later, from the time when the owners were the Brevern family (1747-1919).


Palladianism - Skapades av den italienske renässansarkitektekten Andreas Palladio (1508-1580). 


Palmse (Palms) Haljala
Jakob Staël von Holstein, 1697; Johann Caspar Mohr, 1782-1785

This history of this manor goes back to the Middle Ages, when it belonged to the Cistercian Convent of Saint Michael in Tallinn. At the beginning of the 16th century it went to private hands and since 1522 its owners were the Metztaken family. In 1676-1919 it belonged to the Pahlens.

The main building was originally a two-storey structure in Palladian style. It was designed by Jakob Staël von Holstein, who is also thought to be the author of the main building of Maardu as well as some Palladian structures in Tallinn. In the Great Northern War the structure got severely damaged. It was restored by around 1730.

The current building, designed by Johann Caspar Mohr, the architect of the Stenbock Palace in Tallinn, was completed in 1785. It is, according to many, the most notable Baroque manor in Estonia.

(grande flânerie - architecture | history | real & imaginary travel


PALLADIAN ARCHITECTURE - is a european architectural style derived from the work of the venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). The Palladian architecture is famous for its stately symmetry, classical elements and grand appearance. Erica Puisus descripes Palladian architecture in "What is Palladian Architecture?" Palladio sought to incorporate classical elements from ancient Greek and Roman design into more contemporary uses. His designe focused on proportion and symmetry. The Palladian architecture spread throughout Europe and inspired many architects such as Inigo Jones and Lord Burlington. 

Inigo Jones (1573-1652) was an english architect. (Janson, H.W. (1986) History of art s. 558).


1674 Jacob designed Axel von Rosens house in Reval. The house is now the Swedish embassy in Reval. 


Jacob died in a duell on 2 october 1679 (Elgenstierna p. 505)



Grimberg, Carl. Svenska folkets underbara öden III p. 590

Munthe, Ludvig W:son (1904-1906). Kongl. Fortifikationens historia. 2, Fortifikationsstaten under Örnehufwudh och Wärnschiöldh 1641-1674. Stockholm: Norstedts. p. 118

Ottenheym, Konrad. Foreign Architects in the Low Countries and the use of Prints and Books p .215

Tersmeden, Lars. Stormen för Köpenhamn – Aktuellt historiskt – Meddelanden från militärhistoriska avdelningen vid kungliga militärhögskolan 1963. p. 106

Ørnbjerg, J. (2011). Avgörande slag 1659. Svenska anfallet på Köpenhamn. Militärhistoria, (8), p. 12-21


Webb pagesKöge som fästningsby under Karl Gustav-krigerne historiskaatlas.dk



Titularregister till riksregistraturet, Titularregister till riksregistraturet, SE/RA/1112.2/10 (1660-1665), bildid: A0039201_00060


Jacob (28 May 1628- 2 october 1676). A photo of the painting is in the Estonian National Museums photocollection - ERM Fk 889:712 

 Stael - Holstein, Jakob v. - general - major, county councilor of Livonia, 1628 - 1679 (oil painting), ERM Fk 889:712, Estonian National Museum, http://www.muis.ee/museaalview/665636


Prospect der stadt Köge ohue fortification - Jacob Stahl

prospect Köge and fortification - Jacob Stahl 1658

Jacob Stahls signature 1658