The Château de Flers is located in Villeneuve d'Ascq, in the Nord department of France. The château, completed in 1661, is very characteristic of the Flemish architecture of the 17th century. From 1667 to 1747, it belonged to the De Kessel family, the Seigneurs of Flers. In 1747, Philippe André de Baudequin, seigneur of Sainghin, obtains the seigneurie of Flers and the château from his De Kessel cousin. In 1770, Marie-Claire-Josephe de Baudequin married count Ladislas de Diesbach. When his wife died in 1791, he inherits the château and he will be the last seigneur of Flers.
Around 1787, the château was modified: the mullions of the windows were removed, the French ceilings were replaced by box-section ceilings, and new chimneys were built. The original drawbridge was replaced by a new one, which still exists. The archway arcade is from this time. During the French revolution, the family emigrated. The château, entrusted to the care of the former gardener, fell in disrepair and was eventually converted into a farmhouse.
Four rooms in the basement were doing up an archeologic museum in 1991. The museum hosts also temporarily exhibitions, about archeology, local history and regional ethography.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.