Sommeregg is a medieval castle near Seeboden situated in the foothills of the Nock Mountains. The castle was probably erected in the 12th century. The Lords of Sommeregg then served as ministeriales of Count Otto II of Ortenburg, who ruled over extended estates in Upper Carinthia, rivalling with the House of Gorizia and the Salzburg archbishops.
In the 14th century, the Lords of Sommeregg achieved the knightly status of Ortenburg burgraves and castellans with comprehensive administrative and military responsibilities in the lordship of the manor. When the Counts of Ortenburg became extinct in 1418, their possessions passed to the Counts of Celje in Carniola, who left the administration of the remote Upper Carinthian estates to local stadtholders. In 1442 the Styrian noble Andreas von Graben by marriage inherited the Sommeregg burgraviate. His rights were acknowledged by Count Frederick II of Celje and the castle became a residence of the House of Graben.
The dynasty maintained the title of Sommeregg burgraves, even when the last Celje count Ulrich II was murdered in 1456. After a long dispute with Count John II of Gorizia, the former Ortenburg possessions fell to the Habsburg emperor Frederick III, who confirmed the feudal rights of the Graben family. Andreas von Graben was succeeded by his son Virgil in 1463, however, in 1487 the castle was occupied and devastated by Hungarian forces under King Matthias Corvinus on his campaign against the Austrian Habsburgs. Afterwards Virgil von Graben had the fortress rebuilt in its current appearance.
Through Virgil's niece and heiress Rosina (d. 1534), Sommeregg passed to the Bavarian Lords of Rain. In 1550 it was purchased by the Carinthian noble Christoph Khevenhüller, whose descendants held the castle until 1628. The Sommeregg manor was dissolved upon the Revolution of 1848.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.