Neuberg Abbey is one of the few extant set of monastic buildings in Austria to have retained its medieval character to any great extent.
The abbey was founded in 1327 as a filial monastery of Stift Heiligenkreuz by the Habsburg Duke Otto the Merry, who died here in 1339. It was suppressed in 1786 by Emperor Joseph II. In 1850, the partly ruined premises were converted for use as a hunting lodge for Emperor Franz Joseph I. The buildings were later owned by the Austrian Forestry Department, until 2006.
Construction on the monumental High Gothic hall church began about 1330 and was not completed until the reign of Frederick III, in 1496. The roof-timbers from the first half of the 15th century contain more than 1100 m³ of larch wood and constitute the largest and most important construction of this sort in the German-speaking world. The church interior is dominated by the Baroque high altar, dating from 1612. The life-size sandstone statue of the 'Neuberger Madonna' and several side-altars date from the Gothic period.
After the dissolution of the monastery, it became the parish church of Neuberg.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.