Cesvaine Palace was built in 1896 for the German baron Emil von Wulf (not to be confused with the von Wolf baronial family). Authors of the project were architects Hans Grisebach and August Dinklage from Berlin. The palace is built in the late Tudor Neo-Renaissance style. It is located next to the old medieval castle ruins, remains from the old bishops castle.
At the end of the 19th century, Germany abandoned the reproduction of old German prototypes and turned to England in search of inspiration, namely to late Tudor-style architecture. The style had preserved certain Gothic elements. Picturesque frames, towers and turrets of different forms and sizes, high decorative chimneys and steep roofs were all characteristic features of the style.
Cesvaine Palace is an impressive construction representing this trend in Latvia. Abandoning forms of the German renaissance, Griesebach created an unusual, noble and welcoming construction. It is a romantic and picturesque building, and its architecture harmonizes with the landscape. The palace is built of stone, skilfully using the colour and texture of the material. The building is renowned not only for its size and frame, but also for the quality of construction. The facades of the palace is made in the medieval style, so the palace leaves the impression of a medieval fortification.
The palace has survived all revolutions and wars of the twentieth century, so interiors were almost in perfect condition. Unfortunately in 2002 the palace suffered heavily in a fire. All of the roof and second floor was destroyed and the first floor was seriously damaged. But, many interior elements survived and will be restored. Although restoration works has started, due to the lack of finances they are proceeding very slowly. The last few decades there was a local secondary school housed in the palace.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.