Žabljak Crnojevića is an abandoned medieval fortified town in Montenegro located on the confluence of the Morača river in Lake Skadar. It is believed that this fortress was founded in the 10th century during the reign of the Vojislavljević dynasty in then-known Dioclea, whereas the first known written testimony of the fortress originate from mid-15th century.
The fortress served as the capital of Zeta under the Crnojević dynasty from 1466 till 1478, being the seat of Stefan and Ivan Crnojević. However, Ivan Crnojević was forced to move the capital in 1478 when the Turks seized the town during the siege of Shkodra, holding it until the decision of the Berlin Congress in 1878 when it fell under Montenegrin administration once again after 400 years of Turkish rule.
The town has tall walls with towers, as well as one gate. Within the walls can be found Ivan Crnojević's court, Church of Saint George (was turned into a mosque during Ottoman rule), housing and military facilities, a warehouse for clothes and a water tank, most of which are preserved.
In the early 17th century, the town was under Turkish rule. The fortress had only one resident, the Dizdar Aga (Turkish official).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.