Aizpute castle was built in the 13th and 14th centuries by the Livonian Order. This was regular planned castella type Order’s Castle with corner tower and wooden buildings in the yard. In the 15th century outside at the ring-wall was built the eastern block. After the Livonian War (1558-1583) castle was not suitable for habitation and in written documents from 1555 it is mentioned as a grain storehouse. At the time from end of the 16th till beginning of the 17th century castle was renovated and there still remain the rich parget with the splendid decorative design in the graffiti artistry above the gates that was shaped in that time.
In fights of the Swedish-Polish War (1600-1629) the castle was ravaged again, but in 1665 there were done the renovation works and the garrisons and gun-crews of Jacob the Duke of Courland were deployed there. After the death of Duke Jacob in 1682 castle became the property of Michael Fredrick Nolde. After rebuilding the castle lost its medieval shape of fortress and inside the ring-wall the new living block was added. Gradually the castle lost its adhibition as a dwelling and was inhabited just partly. For that time the culture level in the yard has grown up for 1.5 metres. In the beginning of the 19th century the eastern block and the south-eastern tower got their present flat vaulting and new partition walls. For the beginning of the 20th century the castle of Aizpute was unsuitable for inhabiting and for present day it has partly gone to rack and ruins.
In the beginning of the 19th century, when some parts became unsuitable for inhabiting, the lord of the manor lived in the new manor-house that was built near at the pond in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Later at the pond were built the water mill and the spirit distillery, but at the new manor-house were built the household buildings. Aizpute Evangelic-Lutheran Church and the former castle13-manor complex of buildings creates the unified group of towns-planning architectural objects that also includes the pond and water mill with the dam on the Tebra River.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.