Lahneck Castle was built in 1226 by the Archbishop of Mainz Siegfried III of Eppstein to protect his territory at the mouth of the Lahn, where the town of Oberlahnstein and a silver mine had come into the possession of the Archbishopric in 1220. The castle chapel, dedicated to Saint Ulrich of Augsburg, was built in 1245, in the same year the first Burggraf took up residence in the castle.
In 1298, King Adolf of Nassau was a guest at the castle, shortly before his death in the Battle of Göllheim against King Albert I of Habsburg. In order to avenge him, the Burggraf of Lahneck, Friedrich Schilling of Lahnstein, participated in a conspiracy against Albert. The castle was stormed in 1309 and Friedrich Schilling was executed.
According to legend, when the Knights Templar were ordered by Pope Clement V to disband in 1312, the last 12 Templars took refuge in the castle, where they perished in a heroic fight to the death with forces of Mainz Archbishop Peter of Aspelt. In 1332, Pope John XXII granted a 40-day indulgence to those attending services in the castle chapel.
In 1475, Mainz Archbishop Theodoric of Isenburg-Büdingen had the castle strengthened with two outer walls following the Mainz Bishops Feud with his rival archbishop, Adolph II of Nassau. In 1633, during the Thirty Years War, the castle was heavily damaged by Swedish and Imperial troops.
On July 18, 1774, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote the poem Geistesgruß. It was inspired by the sight of Lahneck Castle during his travels along the Lahn River.
In the German Mediatisation of 1803, in which the Archbishopric of Mainz lost its secular territories, Lahneck Castle was granted to the Duchy of Nassau. In 1850 it was sold and has remained in private ownership since. Edward Moriarty, a Director of the Rhenish Railway Company, became one of its first owners. During the ownership of Earl Kleist-Tychow a more than life-sized portrait of Queen Victoria was presented which can still be seen at the castle. Imperial Admiral Robert Mischke, later commander of armoured cruiser 'von der Tann', purchased the castle in 1909 and it has been owned by his family ever since.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.