Pula fortress was built by the Venetians, situated on a hill in the center of Pula. It is interesting to point out that there are evidence that hill fort of the Histri was once in the same location. Because of its dominating position, the fortress was always used for defense of the city, bay and port. The fortress was built between 1630 and 1633, based on a design from French military engineer Antonio De Villa, so it belongs to the French style. It was always an important defensive point for Venetian control of the Adriatic. The stone from large Roman theater was used for its construction, along with the one from other quarries around Pula.
The center of the fortress has a rectangular shape, and four additional pentagonal tower increase its security. From aerial perspective, the fortress has a shape of a flower. The fortress was reconstructed several times. Even though there is a sing in the entrance with year 1840, it was built before. In Austrian-Hungarian times, the fortress is called Hafen Kastell, and in other half of the 19th century, it received new armament, penitentiary, guardhouse and other objects. It was part of Pula’s fortification system. After the end of World War I, the fortress has lost its significance.
Today it houses since the Historical Museum of Istria. The museum has several departments – Department of the history of Pula, Department of medieval Istrian history and the Department of modern Istrian history with adjoining collections. In the rich museum holdings (over 40,000 artifacts), particularly important is the collection of old postcards, maps and the collection of arms, uniforms, military and maritime equipment.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.