The building of Hultaby Castle was begun in the second half of the 13th century and it was inhabited in the middle of the 14th century by the Swedish councillor of the realm and earl of the Orkney Islands, Erengisle Sunesson (Bååt).
Together with the castle itself, which is 28 by 32 metres, the castle area consists of a group of 10 building foundations, which lie in an L-formation on the southern and eastern sides of the castle. There used to be an additional fifteen or so buildings spread out outside the castle area. The upper part of the castle, which consisted of a great room, two minor rooms and a tower, and the surrounding buildings, were of timber.
The castle is thought to have been burnt by Count Henrik of Holstein (known as “Järn Henrik”, Iron Henrik), the bailiff of King Albrecht, during the 1360s, at which time there was civil strife between the rival Swedish kings Magnus Eriksson and Albrecht of Mecklenburg.
The area around the old ruins shows many traces of the old cultivated landscape. Apart from the mounds of stones left by the farming of times past, there also remain plants that are favoured by hay making and grazing, such as leopard’s bane, greater yellow-rattle and common milkwort.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.