In 1286, Louis of Savoy founded a city of Morges in a pasture where a gallows previously stood. A castle was built to protect the city, which quickly developed into an administrative and market center as well as a hub for transporting goods by land and sea.
The castle in the south of the town square was built with a square floor plan and four round corner towers. It resembles the castle of Yverdon, which may have served as a model for Morges Castle. One of the round towers, larger than the others, served as the main tower. The raised courtyard was covered during the Middle Ages by casemates, which were first mentioned in 1340. On the lake side, outside the castle walls, there was a fortified kitchen. This kitchen, which was unique in Switzerland, was attached to the exterior of the castle walls. In 1363 the kitchen was rebuilt. Following the conquest of Vaud by Bern, the roof of the kitchen became a firing platform and was later converted into an observation deck.
The city and castle were plundered in 1475 and again in 1530. After the conquest of Vaud in 1536 by Bern, Morges became the center of a bailiwick in 1539. The castle was at that time in a deplorable condition. The new owners had the upper half of the fortifications rebuilt in the 1540s to suit the needs of artillery. Since Morges had not surrendered quickly enough to Bern, the city gates were demolished. The gate houses remained until 1769 and 1803, when they were finally destroyed.
The castle, which became the cantonal armory in 1803, was expanded in 1836-39 with some utility buildings and damaged in an explosion in 1871. Starting in 1925, it housed the Vaud Military Museum.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.