Kobersdorf castle was built in 1528 to the site of moated fortress from the 13th century. The history of original castle dates back to the age of Ludwig the German (806-876). The first document of Kobersdorf castle dates from 1229. The fortress withstood the first siege in 1270. 10 years later it was conquered, also 1289 after it was successfully recaptured. Finally, Duke Albrecht I and King Ándrás III concluded the peace treaty of Hainburg in 1291.
In 1319, King Karl Robert sold the estates to Count Simon II of Forchtenstein-Mattersburg. His father and uncle were the brothers of Tota, a spanish court lady of the hungarian King. Both of them have proved themselves in the spanish reconquista and were therefore allowed to wear the spanish eagle in their coat of arms.
About 1430, the artistic decoration of the fortress, from which only the baptistery remained, was made by Count Wilhelm Forchtenstein-Mattersburg, who also changed the main residence of the family from Forchtenstein to Kobersdorf. 1445, Wilhelm put the estates in pawn to the austrish Duke Albrecht VI, who in turn sold the fortress 1451 to his brother, emperor Friedrich III. When Wilhelm died in 1466, he left two daughters. According to the law, the estates has to be given back to the Hungarian Kingdom. But abiding the agreement on ceasefire of 1447, in which Albrecht VI was certified in the posession of Kobersdorf, the estates now were for the first time under Austrian rule.
In 1458 Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, conquered Kobersdorf, but according to the peace of Sopron 1463, the fortress remains in the Hands of Austria. Nevertheless, when count Wilhelm Forchtenstein died in 1466, Corvinus gave Kobersdorf to Weisspriach as a present, in consequence of their unfaithfulness for the Habsburg emperor.
The rampart in westward direction and a bigger chapel were erected in 1482. Both of the buildings were held in the style of the late gothic.
In 1529, the Weisspriach family enlarged the fortress of Kobersdorf to a castle and extend the rampart in the style of renaissance. However, in 1683 the turks captured the castle. They ordered the demolishing of the fortress, which existed until then besides the castle.
In 1704, Franz Kéry sold the estate to his brother-in-law Paul I. Fürst Esterházy. Henceforth, the castle lost its function as an residence. This, on the one hand, causes the preservation of the architectural style, but on the other hand, the castle got more and more derelicted. 1809 it was a quarter for french officers, 1876, a fire destroyed the roof, 1914 and 1942-45 a military prison, and 1945-47, a quarter for the russian red army.
Today the castle is known as a location of concerts, exhibitions and seminars. Parts of the castle can be rented for weddings and celebrations. By agreement, guided visitations are possible.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.