It is thought that the Trsat castle lies at the exact spot of an ancient Illyrian and Roman fortress. It was owned by Frankopan family who built the present castle in the 13th century.
The capture of the Castle of Trsat compelled the Ban of Croatia, Andrew Bot of Bajna (Bajna is a village in Hungary, near Esztergom), to intervene in the Austro-Venetian war, and in June 1509 he first recaptured Trsat with his Croatian army and then entered Rijeka after expelling the Venetians. In October 1509, the Venetians withdrew for good and Rijeka returned to the possessions of Maximilian of Habsburg. This notable episode is the sole event which links Rijeka with Venice, and consequently with Italy, during the whole of its history from the 7th century on.
In the 17th century the castle fell into decay due to the receding threats from Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Its decline was accelerated by the earthquake of 1750. In the year 1811, during the Napoleonic wars, Captain Hoste in pursuit of the French, arrived with his frigate at Fiume where he made himself lieutenant-governor. The situation in Trieste soon drew him away, but in 1826 he had the satisfaction of handing the castle over to Field-Marshal Nugent, an Irishman then commanding the Austrian troops in the vicinity, for the purpose of conferring on him the rank of an Austrian noble. The general was later honoured by the Austrians and presented with the castle at Trsat as his residence. He had it restored in Neo-Gothic style and built a mausoleum adorned with the coat of arms of the Nugent family. It remained in the Nugent family until nearly the end of the Second World War when the general's great-granddaughter, Countess Nugent, died at the age of 82.
Today the castle has now been turned into a restaurant and many tourists visit the place during the summer months.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.