Pszczyna Castle is a classical-style palace. Constructed as a castle in 13th century or earlier, in a Gothic architectural style, it was rebuilt in a Renaissance style in the 17th century. During the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, the exterior of the castle was partially changed into a Baroque-Classical style. The Classicist modernization transformed the complex into what is usually described a palace.
In its history the castle was a residence of Silesian and Polish Piast nobles, then the German von Promnitz noble clan (mid-16th to mid-18th centuries) and later the German von Pless family. The castle became owned by the state after the death of the last Prince of Pless, Hans Heinrich XV in 1936.
In 2009 it was voted as one of the 'Seven Architectural Wonders of the Silesian Voivodeship' by the Silesian authorities and is often described as one of the most beautiful castle residences in Poland.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.