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:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.