Daugavgrīva Castle was originally a monastery converted as a fortress by Swedish in the 17th century. Today there are no remnants of the medieval castle above the soil.
In 1208 there was a Dünaburg castle built by the Teutonic Knights which initially served as a monastery. The Swedish fortress of Dünamünde, designed in a Dutch style by General Rothenburg in 1641, replaced the ruined Daugavgrīva Castle by 1680. In 1695 the Commandant was captain Heinrich Nicolaus Rüdinger, forefather of future Patriarch Alexy II of Russia. Rüdinger was knighted by Charles XI of Sweden. Joachim Cronman later became the Commandant and he died on March 5, 1703.
After the fortress was seized by the Russians they reconstructed it. Regent Anna Leopoldovna of Russia, her husband Anthony Ulrich, and her son Ivan VI were incarcerated in Dünamünde in 1742. A local Lutheran church was rebuilt into the Orthodox Church of the Saviour's Transfiguration in 1775. The Russian government renamed the fortress, where only Russian soldiers were living, to Ust-Dvinsk in 1893. They had its fortifications completely reconstructed prior to World War I. During the war Ust-Dvinsk was bombarded by the Schütte-Lanz Airship SL 7 of the German Army. After the fortress was taken by Imperial Germany, it was inspected by Emperor Wilhelm II in 1917. The Latvian government, however, demolished much of the fortifications several years later. During the Cold War Ust-Dvinsk was a base for Soviet troops. The site is now known in Latvian as Daugavgrīva. There is a functional lighthouse at Daugavgrīva which was originally built in 1818. It was rebuilt in 1863, 1920, and after World War II.
Nowadays entrance in the area of castle goes along the northeastern corner. Still there is partly visible the old road which was leading from northeastern tower around the forepart of the castle up to the southeastern corner.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.