In 999 the Abbot of Moutier-Grandval Abbey gave his extensive landholdings around Lake Biel, including where La Neuveville would be founded, to the Prince-Bishop of Basel. At that time the region was known as Nugerol and over the next centuries the Bishop of Basel and the Counts of Neuchâtel often quarreled over the land. In 1283 the Prince-Bishop Henry von Isny began to have Schlossberg Castle built on the slopes of the Jura Mountains. Construction finished up in 1288 under the next Prince-Bishop, Peter Reich von Reichenstein. The castle was intended to help defend his claim to the land. To further solidify his claims, around 1310, the next Prince-Bishop, Gérard de Vuippens, founded the town of La Neuveville. The town and castle pushed the borders of the County of Neuchâtel to the eastern side of the Ruz de Vaux stream.
The Bishops appointed castellans who were required to live in the castle and to defend it if attacked. After the town of La Neuveville was established, the castellan of the castle also governed the town.
In 1342, the Prince-Bishops signed a treaty with the Counts of Neuchâtel which established the border between their lands. With the treaty, Schlossberg lost much of its original strategic importance. In 1367 fighting broke out between the Prince-Bishop Johann von Vienne and the city of Bern. The Prince-Bishop fled to Schlossberg Castle ahead of a Bernese army. Bern then besieged the town of La Neuveville and the castle. The citizens of La Neuveville rallied around the Prince-Bishop and drove the Bernese army away. In response, the Prince-Bishop granted the town additional rights and privileges in 1368.
Starting in 1532, the castellan began living in the town and only visited the castle. About two decades later, in 1556, the castellan completely moved into town. The castle began to slowly fall into disrepair. In 1799, after the 1798 French invasion, the castle was sold by the French government to a private owner. It was repaired in 1884 by Charles-Louis Schnider-Gibollet and again in 1930-32 by Louis-Philippe Imer. Following the renovation, in 1933, Louis-Philippe gave the castle to the community of La Neuveville and the Canton of Bern. Today a foundation established by the community maintains the castle and rents portions out.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.