Lilleborg is a ruined castle in the Almindingen forest. The castle was probably built in the middle of the 12th century as a royal fortress. It appears to have replaced the much larger fortress of Gamleborg which was only 700 metres away. The move could be explained by the fact that in 1149, three-fourths of Bornholm had been surrendered to Eskil, archbishop of Lund. As a result, King Sweyn III wanted to establish his own seat of power on the remaining fourth of the island. While it could not be compared to the archbishop's Hammershus, Lilleborg was nevertheless a fine stronghold and appears to have been easier to defend than the much larger Gamleborg. There is evidence suggesting the fortress burnt down in 1259 when Prince Jaromar of Rügen stormed and destroyed the 'king's stronghold' on Bornholm. However, coins minted after that date have been found, indicating it was inhabited after its storming.
Lilleborg's construction inland rather than on the coast has been compared to that of Refshaleborg on Borgø in Maribo lake. It had a large tower, 9.5 metres square, protecting the entrance to the courtyard. Its walls were 2.4 metres thick and from the top it was easy to hit anyone trying to attack. The fortress is further protected by a curtain wall which follows the cliff tops around the oval plateau. The interior was some 76 metres long and 41 metres wide. When its defenses were obsolete, the fort's stones were re-purposed for other buildings. From 2006 to 2011, restoration work was carried out at Lilleborg.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.