Boldogkő Castle towers above the village atop a north-south elongated and irregularly oval-shaped andesite mountain top. The exact time of its construction is unknown, but it is certain that it was built after the Mongol invasion in the mid-13th century. The stronghold, designed with an interior turret, defended the road to Košice and the Hernad Valley. Presently, the castle is in the hands of the local municipality.
A new major renovation and excavation effort began in 2002. The castle’s profile changed dramatically with the reconstruction of two towers (a gate tower and a southern tower). Moreover, a 100 m walkway was constructed running along the internal courtyard, offering splendid views through the arrow slits to the north and west, and over the ramparts. Another walkway was built along the knife-edge ridge of the so-called “Lion’s Rock,” leading to a magnificent lookout platform.
The two-story fortress palace was a concrete slab-reinforced flat-roofed building. In order to be better able to utilise the space, a higher roof was integrated during renovations. The large and stately knight’s hall is the result. The wing also houses an exhibition of thousands of tin/lead soldiers and their meticulously detailed dioramas depicting the most important battles in Hungarian history. The scenes can even be utilised to teach history during class tips. This exhibition is the largest of its kind in Central Europe.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.