Jaunpils Castle was erected in 1301 by the Master of the German branch of the Livonian Order, Gottfried von Roga. The tower was added in the 15th century. The castle was heavily damaged in war by Swedes in 1625. Later a third floor was added and the old fortress became a manor with all conveniences in the end of the 17th century. The building was partly reconstructed in 18th century. The castle was burned down during the Russian Revolution of 1905. A year later it was rebuilt by architect Wilhelm Bockslaff.
From the 16th century until 1920 the castle belonged to the family of the Baltic German baron von der Recke. One of the family members who lived there in the 18th century was the poet Elisa von der Recke. After the Latvian agrarian reforms of 1920s, the castle complex housed a cattle-breeding experimental station. During the Soviet occupation of Latvia, the interior of the castle was heavily reconstructed and today Jaunpils castle has typical Soviet interiors from the 1960s. More of a manor house than properly a fortified castle, it has now been converted into a hotel.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.