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:
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.