Mosbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery, later a monastery of Augustinian Canons. As part of the systematic Carolingian Christianisation of this part of Germany, a number of monasteries were set up, covering between them the whole region of the Odenwald: Amorbach, Lorsch and Fulda, all founded in the 8th century, and Mosbach, the southernmost and least documented. It is first mentioned in a reference in the records of Reichenau Abbey in 825, but in the context of the other monastic foundations in the Odenwald, it seems likely that it was also founded in the previous century. The next record of it is in 976, when Emperor Otto II granted it to Worms Cathedral chapter as a private episcopal monastery. In about 1000, it was changed from a Benedictine house to one of canons regular. In 1268 however the abbey regained its independence with the re-grant of the right to elect its own abbots.
In 1308 the present Saint Juliana's church was built to replace the earlier abbey church. In 1556 in the course of the Reformation the Elector Palatine Otto-Heinrich abolished Roman Catholic services and made the abbey church the town's Protestant parish church. The former Catholic parish church of Saint Cecilia's was thus rendered superfluous and was demolished. Otto-Heinrich dissolved the abbey itself in 1564, of which virtually nothing remains except the church.
During the course of the 17th century the need for a Catholic church re-emerged, however, and in 1708 Saint Juliana's was partitioned to allow both Protestants and Catholics to use the same building for worship as a simultaneum: the Protestants have the former nave and the Catholics the former chancel. Their congregations form part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Freiburg and the United Protestant Church in Baden, respectively.
In 1688 a community of Franciscans settled here and established a friary on a new site further out of the town centre. The friary was dissolved in 1808 during the secularisation in Baden, and the buildings were reused for administrative and local government purposes. The friary garden however has recently been re-developed as a herb garden, in connection with the local Herb Market.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.