The Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) is a landmark structure of Innsbruck, considered the city's most famous symbol. Completed in 1500, the roof was decorated with 2,738 fire-gilded copper tiles for Emperor Maximilian I to mark his wedding to Bianca Maria Sforza. The Emperor and his wife used the balcony to observe festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square below.
The entire oriel is decorated in sculpted reliefs and mural paintings. The first-floor balustrade is adorned with eight sculpted coats of arms, six facing the square and two flanking panels, representing Maximilian's territories. Above the coats of arms are frescoes by Jörg Kölderer, painted in 1500, showing two knights bearing heraldic flags representing the Holy Roman Empire and Tyrol.
The second-floor balustrade is decorated in eight sculpted reliefs, six facing the square and two flanking panels, depicting various images associated with Maximilian's life. The two central reliefs show Maximilian. The one on the left shows the Emperor with his second wife Bianca Maria Sforza on the left holding an apple, and his beloved first wife Maria of Burgundy on the right. The other central relief shows the Emperor with his court jester and his chancellor.
The frescoes that adorn the interior of the loggia were also painted by Jörg Kölderer and show scenes from the aristocratic life of that time.
The building that bears the Goldenes Dachl was constructed by Archduke Friedrich IV in the early 15th century as the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. The Goldenes Dachl was designed to serve as a royal box where the Emperor and his imperial entourage could sit in state and enjoy festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square below.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.