Preiļi Palace was originally built in the early 19th century and the structure was converted between 1860 and 1865 into its present English Neo-Gothic form, also called Tudor style. The interior was destroyed in a February 1978 fire and has not been restored.
The estate was owned by Count Borhs family from 1382 to 1864. It initially contained a castle of the Livonian order, which was devastated by Russian tsar Ivan the terrible at the time of the Russian invasion in the second half of the 16th century, during the Livonian War. The castle was not reconstructed though. Instead, a new palace was built, which was set on fire at the beginning of the 18th century.
A two-storied Neo-Gothic palace was erected on the site in about 1836, according to the architectural project of architects A. Beleckis and G. Schacht. Later, the building was remodelled and a round castle-type turret located at the northeast side was added to the structure. The construction was initiated at the beginning of the 19th century and finished during the 1860s. The third story with a wooden construction for a campanile was built between 1891 and 1910. In February 1978, the palace was burnt down again and for many years remained without a roof.
The Preiļi landscape park covers 41,2 hectares, of which 13,2 are covered by ponds. Some architectural monuments in the park, such as a chapel, stables, the palace itself and the park's main cottage, may be visited. The Preiļi History and Applied Art Museum, opened in 1985, is also part of the Preiļi estate. The museum collection comprises mainly historical items, besides more than 10,000 items created by local and foreign artists.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.