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.

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Address

Palasta iela 18, Cēsis, Latvia
See all sites in Cēsis

Details

Founded: 1209
Category: Castles and fortifications in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Darina Sadykova (10 months ago)
The museum wants as interesting and turned out you had to pay the museum entrance fee to get closer to the castle
George On tour (11 months ago)
When the Livonian Brothers of Sword through the division of lands in 1207 obtained area on the left bank of Gauja River, Cesis immediately became one of four main places serving as a support base for further invasion in contemporary Northern Latvia and Southern Estonia. Initially brothers settled in Riekstu hill - in Old Cesis castle. In Livonian Rhymed Chronicle there is mentioned that Cesis castle (the newer one) has been built by master Wenno (at power in 1204-1209).
Eima Fediakinaitė (12 months ago)
The castle was great, definitely go up the tower, they even give you candlelight lantern to explore the old timey tower by your own. The mansion in the yard of the castle was great aswell, it has a little tower too, a great panorama can be seen from it, but the only downside is that the museum in the mansion was only in latvian, which is basicaly useless
Siga VB (13 months ago)
Make sure you go up the tower and explore the dungeon too. Most of it is outdoors, so consider the weather before visiting.
Emils Cirulis (14 months ago)
Such a great place to visit if you are in Cēsīs. You can get to the top of the actual castle tower and see the gorgeous view of Cesis Castle Park. Also, you are allowed to get on top of the tower in new castle (museum) and it gives you amazing view of Cesis. Make sure you visit the Castle and it's surroundings. Such a great holiday especially if sun is out and weather is good. You will definitely enjoy your trip if you get into the castle and it's area. Furthermore, you can explore the museum and see the history of Cesis and time people lived in.
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