Malchow Abbey is a former Cistercian nunnery founded in 1298, when the nuns from Röbel settled in Alt-Malchow and took over the premises of the former Magdalene community here. Nicholas II, Prince of Werle, gave the new nunnery the patronage of the churches at Alt-Malchow, Neu-Malchow and Lexow. After the Reformation the abbey was a collegiate foundation for noblewomen from 1572 to 1923.
The former abbey building complex is now dominated by the church, which was built between 1844 and 1849 to plans by Friedrich Wilhelm Buttel. These included a 52-metre high brick tower, after the addition of which it was thought necessary to refurbish the nave for aesthetic reasons. Before 1844 the church was a simple stone building.
After a fire in 1888 the church was rebuilt in a Gothic Revival between 1888 and 1890 according to plans by Georg Daniel.
Of the old abbey buildings there still exist the cloister, as well as some ancillary buildings now used for residential purposes.
In the abbey church and the nearby organ courtyard is a permanent exhibition relating to the history of organ-building in Mecklenburg. The Mecklenburg Organ Museum is the first of its sort in the new Bundesländer. In the abbey church itself there is an organ by Friedrich Friese III.
The abbey complex also includes the Engelsche Garten, laid out by, and named after, Johann Jacob Christian Engel (1762–1840), master of the abbey kitchen from 1786 to 1818. It was not completed until 1855/56.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.