Clervaux Castle dates back to the 12th century. The oldest parts of the castle were built by Gerard, Count of Sponheim, a brother of the Count of Vianden. The large palace and the rounded towers are probably from around 1400 when the prosperous Lords of Brandenbourg lived there.
In 1634, Claude of Lannoy built the reception halls, including the large Knights' Hall in the Spanish style of Flanders. In 1660, stables, storerooms and administrative buildings were added. Finally, in the 18th century, new stables were built.
Over the years, like other castles in Luxembourg, Clervaux fell into disrepair although it was partly restored and used as a hotel before it was finally destroyed in the Second World War during the Battle of Clervaux (December 16 to 18, 1944), part of the Battle of the Bulge.
After being fully restored after the war, the castle is now used partly as a museum and partly for housing the local administration. The south wing houses an exhibition of models of Luxembourg's castles, the old kitchen in the Brandenbourg House is a museum devoted to the Battle of the Ardennes while the upper floor house display photographs by Edward Steichen in an exhibition entitled The Family of Man. The remaining rooms are used for the services of the local administration.
It houses the commune's administrative offices as well as a museum containing an exhibition of Edward Steichen's photographs. The castle is open to visitors.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.