Fort Paté is a small oval battery on an island in the middle of the river Gironde, just big enough to hold the soldiers who defend it. It was built between 1685 and 1693 as part of the verrou de Blaye, a system of three forts built to seal the river against enemy ships.
The fort was situated so as to support the river batteries at Blaye on the right bank and Fort Médoc on the left bank. The island used to be flooded at very high tides and has varied in size considerably over the years. To prevent the fort from sinking into the muddy ground a special foundation had to be made.
The engineer François Ferry, advised by Vauban, was responsible for the construction of the fort. He constructed a grid of wooden piling, which rests upon wooden stakes, forming a raft. The fort itself was then built on top of this raft.
A similar wooden grid was laid around the island in order to stabilise it. In around 1705, the fort had sunk about two meters into the mud. Although the lower embrasures'were useless the rest of the fort was still useful. In 1730 the island had to be stabilised again because its size had been reduced considerably by the currents of the river. The technique used to make the foundation for the battery is quite common in the region; Brouage, Fort Chapus and the Corderie Royal in Rochefort all have similar foundations.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.