St Aubin's Cathedral (1751-1767) is the only cathedral in Belgium built in academic Late Baroque style. It was the only church built in the Low Countries as a cathedral after 1559, when most of the dioceses of the Netherlands were reorganized.
In the interior, there is an ornamented frieze, carved with swags of fruit and flowers between the Corinthian capitals runs in an unbroken band entirely round the church. All colour is avoided, replaced by architectural enrichments and the bas-reliefs in the pendentives of the dome. The interior contains some pieces of art, like paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and Jacques Nicolaï, a Jesuit brother and student of Rubens. The is also an old, romanesque baptismal font.
In the cathedral a marble plaque near the high altar conceals a casket containing the heart of Don Juan of Austria, Habsburg governor of the Spanish Netherlands, who died in 1578; his body lies in the Escorial near Madrid.
Despite being in Belgium, the cathedral design has an Italian influence; it was built to designs of the Ticinese architect Gaetano Matteo Pisoni in 1751 and 1767. A tower of the former Romanesque church dated from the 13th century that stood on the site has survived and is located at the west end of the church.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.