Metten Abbey, or St. Michael's Abbey, was founded in 766 by Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch. For many centuries Metten was under the lordship of the Dukes and Electors of Bavaria. When Charlemagne stayed in Regensburg for three years after 788, Utto turned his abbey over to the Frankish ruler, making the Ducal Abbey a Royal Abbey. After the Carolingians became extinct, Metten was turned into an Imperial Abbey. Besides the work of land clearance in the Bavarian border territories, the monks were very active in education. Members of the abbey were not only schoolteachers, but also members of the Bavarian Academy of Science in Munich and professors of philosophy and theology in Freising and Salzburg.
After secularisation in 1803 the abbey's property was confiscated, and by 1815 had all been auctioned off. Over a number of years Johann von Pronath acquired the greater part of the former premises and succeeded in persuading King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1830 to re-establish the monastery, which by 1837 had been set up to incorporate a boarding school (Gymnasium), in continuance of its educational traditions, which the monastery has run to this day.
The re-founded abbey was very active in re-settling new monasteries. Since 1858 it has been a member of the Bavarian Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation.
Besides the boarding school, the abbey runs various craft enterprises. The library, which is open for tours, contains over 150,000 volumes on theology, philosophy and history.
Dom Edmund Beck, a monk of Metten, edited many of the Syriac works of Saint Ephrem the Syrian in the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium.
A 1415 manuscript found in the abbey's library helped identify the meaning of the abbreviations for the Vade retro satana (Step back Satan) formula that appears on Saint Benedict Medals.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.