Sausenburg Castle was originally the stronghold of the lords of Sausenburg, and is built on a 665 metres high hill. At the beginning of the 12th century, the area was given to the Benedictine monks of the Monastery of St Blaise. The counts of Hachberg acquired the property in 1232 from the monastery. They built the castle in order to protect the area and lived there from 1246. In 1306, the counts founded the Sausenberg dynasty. From that point on, they called themselves the margraves of Hachberg-Sausenberg.
In 1315, Liuthold II of Roetteln, the last male member of his dynasty, bestowed Roetteln to the counts of Hachberg-Sausenberg. He died in 1316. The counts of Hachberg-Sausenberg moved to Rötteln Castle and established their advocates (vogts) on the Sausenberg.
John, the last of the counts of Freiburg, bestowed his property Badenweiler to the margraves of Hachberg-Sausenberg in 1444; the merger of Badenweiler, Rötteln, and Sausenberg marked the beginning of the Markgräflerland.
In 1503, through inheritance, the Sausenburg and the Markgräflerland became part of the Margraviate of Baden. The castle was destroyed in 1678 during the Franco-Dutch War by the army of French Marshal Créquy. At this point, medieval fortifications could not survive long against the advances in artillery and siege warfare.
Today an old circular rampart, a tower and several wall segments remain of the former castle.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.