The Buchlov royal castle was built in the first half of the 13th century, but archaeological finds suggest that the area around Buchlov castle was settled in the oldest periods of civilization.
The first castle was created with two massive prismatic towers situated on opposite parts of a rocky plateau. A high palace on the southern part of the yard was built at the same time and it was surrounded by a wall. The second construction period occurred in the 1370s. Another tower was built and on the second floor of this tower there was a chapel that held the most valuable objects of early Gothic architecture of the day.
The chapel was destroyed and then abandoned when Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus captured the castle in the second half of the 15th century. It was replaced by two large rooms serving as store and depository. And although the castle was a permanent possession of a king until the 16th century, it was often given in pawn to aristocratic clans. Nobles of Cimburk owned it at the end of the 15th century. At that time a representative chivalric hall was built. In the year 1511 the castle was given to a private holder, and from the 16th to 18th century various Moravian clans changed its ownership. The most important were the nobles of Žerotín, Zástřizl and Petřvald families. Constructional work continued in Renaissance style. Some parts of the castle were added in baroque style. However, in 1701, the Buchlovice Castle was finished and in 1751 the owners, the Berchtold noble family, occupied it for more than two centuries.
A family museum was built in the castle thanks to the brothers Leopold Berchtold and Bedřich Berchtold. Leopold Berchtold, who was foreign minister of Austria-Hungary at the beginning of World War I. He was buried at Buchlau after his death in November 1942. In 1945, after the end of World War II, the castle was confiscated on the bases of Beneš decrees and became property of the Czechoslovak state. Later it was added to the list of national cultural monuments. Nowadays it is open to public, and many cultural programs are held each year.
Saint Barbara’s Chapel also called Barborka came into existence in the 13th century, and it was used as a funeral crypt for holders of a manor of Buchlov. Later it was rebuilt and finished in the year 1672. It is built in early baroque style on a cruciform plan with a central cupola. It is one kilometer away from Buchlov castle. Pilgrimage divine services are held to this day.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.