The Gvozdansko Castle was probably built in the second half of the 15th century, due to mining rights of Croatian Zrinski noble family. The castle was first mentioned in 1488. Nikola III Zrinski and his son Nikola Šubić Zrinski frequently came to Gvozdansko in order to inspect the mines and the mint.
The Turks attempted to conquer the Gvozdansko Castle on several occasions. Three major attempts were made in 1561 by Malkoč-beg, in 1574 by Ferhad-beg, and in 1576 by Kapidži-pasha. The final siege by Ferhat-paša Sokolović with 10,000 soldiers, which was fought from 3 October 1577 to 13 January 1578, was much better prepared. That Siege of Gvozdansko ended with an Ottoman victory, after long and bloody siege. Ottomans managed to break into castle only after last defenders froze to death in harsh winter, having no wood or anything else to light the fire, on 13 January 1578.
Ottoman rule in Gvozansko lasted until 1718. Ottoman commander was stunned by the brave Croatian defenders, after witnessing frozen bodies of defenders still holding their muskets on combat positions in the ruined castle.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.