Leskovec Castle or Turn Castle is a 15th-century castle north of the village of Leskovec pri Krškem. It has been redesigned in the 16th and the 18th centuries. Two manors on the site are first mentioned in 1436, held by Baron Johann Dürrer concurrently with the Counts of Celje, and later sold to the latter. The formidable castle was taken and looted by peasant rebels in 1515. The Counts of Celje were followed by several other owners, including Baron Janez Valvasor in 1581, the Counts of Mosconi, the house of Auersperg from 1653 to 1903, Baron Gagern, and a Dr. Trenz.
Leskovec Castle is a typical example of centrally-based defensive architecture with corner towers and a rectangular, arcaded inner courtyard in the middle. The current structure dates from the second quarter of the 16th century, and was substantially complete by the mid-16th century. The four residential wings enclose the most significant architectural feature of the building, a beautiful arcaded courtyard. Above the main gate to the castle there is a relief of the coat of arms of the house of Auersperg-Falkenhayn; the courtyard wall displays the arms of the noble family Khysl. The 17th century renaissance-style castle park contains a monument erected in memory of Alfonz Paulin (1853-1942), a famous Slovene botanist and son of the castle warder.
Leskovec Castle and the surrounding grounds were declared a cultural monument of national importance by the government of Slovenia in 1999.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.