The Norwegian fortress Fredriskberg lay strategically placed on Nordnes’ highest point with a precipitous cliff face to the sea on the west side. Dutch Engineer Major General Henrik Ruse (1624-79) initiated the fortress construction, planned with three bastions and a half bastion on the land side and a wall on the side adjacent to the cliff. The fort was built between 1666 and 1667. It was built after and in many respects because of the Battle of Vågen. It is named after King Fredrik III of Norway.
The construction stalled and the fortifications decayed. A 1695 inspection of Bergen by Christian V of Denmark’s son, Christian Gyldenløve was the impetus which restarted work on the fortifications. By 1706 construction had been completed, albeit in a less complicated layout than originally planned.
Fredriksberg served among other things as a place of execution. Katten, the bastion, was also built in 1666 in what today is the Nordnes Park. The Lavette houses were built in 1810 and 1843 as military storages. After the city fire in 1916 they were used as temporary housing.
The grounds in front of the Lavette houses were used as a place of execution until the Swedish counterfeiter Jacob Wallin was executed in 1876. The Nordnes Park was built 1888-1898 partly on some of the old fortifications. The fortress has also been part of the Bergen Fire Fighting Service. It was a fire watch station from 1667 and a fire station from 1905 to 1926. Today the fort is the headquarters of Nordnæs Bataillon, a buekorps.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.