Latvia - TURAIDA CASTLE
One of the oldest visible castles in Latvia, The Turaida Stone Castle - it is built-in 1214.
Turaida castle dominates the Museum Reserve and is visually, its most impressive element. When seen from the air, or the opposite bank of the river Gauja in Sigulda, Turaida castle rises above the trees like mighty ship built of red brick. The forepart of this imaginative ship is formed by the northern forecastle's gate tower. The main tower, which is the highest, is like a spar in the middle of the ship, and the rear of the ship is the southern forecastle with its tower shaped southern section.
Building of the castle was started in 1214, upon directions given by Albert, Archbishop of Riga to his Livonian Brothers of the Sword (soon to merge with the Teutonic Order) at the place where previously had stood the wooden castle of Liv. A 'castellum' type fortress was built and named Fredeland, which translates as 'Land of Peace', but became better known locally by the Livonian name of 'Turaida', which has survived until the present day. The castle was constructed largely in the classic red-brick construction of the Baltic crusading orders