The exact building year of Stahleck castle is not known, but it has been proved that the castle was already occupied since the year 1095. It's first mentioned in documents in the year 1135 under Goswin von Hochstadt. Until 1148 almost 10 years of fight followed for the rights of the Stahleck.
In the year 1156, after the death of Hermann of Stahleck, his stepbrother Konrad von Hohenstaufen became count palatine of Bacharach on the Rhine river. The town of Bacharach, which is situated on the castle mountain, became center and residence of the originating palatine territory on the Rhine river. Castle Stahleck, which was originally the most farthest southern situated property of the Cologne bishops, was assigned from the emporer Barbarossa to his brother Konrad in the year 1190.
In the Thirty Years' War, in year 1644, as the Catholic party banished the French out of the town with 250 cavalries and 450 Cologne foot soldiers, these fled into the castle Stahleck. Colonel of Nievernheimb, commander on the fortress Ehrenbreitstein, let the castle Stahleck near Bacharach at the Rhine river thereupon be fired at without occupying it. Th restoration was made in 1666 by the elector count palatine Carl Ludwig.
Between January and May 1689 the Stahleck castle was exploded by the french troops from Ludwig XIV. 237 years it was in a ruins, until the crown prince of Preußen bought the area in 1828. Rhine river society accomplished restoration work in 1909 and 1910.
Starting at the end of 1965 until May 20, 1967, the youth hostel was further constructed on the castle Stahleck. Thereby the in the substructure still original roman Bergfried of the castle Stahleck with abated wall strength was newly roofed and furnished with new walls. Today it expresses the picture of a medieval castle with different construction phases and is one of the most well-known youth hostels.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.