King's College in Old Aberdeen is a formerly independent university founded in 1495 and now an integral part of the University of Aberdeen. Its historic buildings are the centrepiece of the University of Aberdeen's Old Aberdeen campus, often known as the King's or King's College campus.
The focal point of the college, as well as its oldest building, is the late 15th century King's College Chapel. A number of other historic buildings remain, with others being subject to renovation and rebuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the early 20th century, a great deal of expansion saw the university buildings increase around the historic college buildings. In the later 20th century, the university expanded dramatically in size, dominating Old Aberdeen and expanding out from the High Street with a number of modern buildings.
Construction of the King's College Chapel began in 1498 and ended with the consecration of the building in 1509. The most notable architectural feature of the Chapel is its Crown Tower, which has become an icon of the university as a whole.
Particularly notable within the chapel are the choir stalls and rood screen, which date back to around 1509. These form the most complete mediaeval church interior in Scotland. Since 1928, the antechapel has been used as the university's war memorial: five hundred and twenty-four students of the university are commemorated on its walls, having fallen in the First and Second World Wars.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.