The former Ursuline Convent has been well-preserved, with the interior especially having almost no subsequent modifications. The current monastery complex was rebuilt from the original Renaissance building, whose remains are still partly preserved in the brickwork, after the great fire of 1709. The monastery was built in the Baroque period as a two-storied yet unfinished building complex around two central courtyards. There are still a number of vaulted rooms in the interiors. In the former refectory there is a preserved stucco ceiling with murals. In the nineteenth century, the monastery complex was extended by a further wing in today's Křivá Street.The Gothic Church of St. Catherine is the most valuable object in the monastery. It was built before 1287, together with the original Dominican Convent. Dominican nuns occupied the Convent until 1782, when they were superseded by the The Ursulines. The Dominican convent was the last of the early medieval monasteries built in the city.
The Church of St. Catherine was rebuilt in 1362, perhaps by the bishop's building works, which had previously worked on the construction of the Church of St. Maurice in Kroměříž. From this time originates the vaulting of the rectangular end of the presbytery. Some adjustments took place in late 14th and early 15th century, according to shapes of some of the window traceries. During the Renaissance, the western Gothic portal of the church was equipped with an imposing door decorated with a rich ornamental carving. The portal itself originates from around 1400. A Baroque coat of arms of Count Albert Friedrich Vetter of Lily is placed above it. The Convent church was also hit by the devastating fire in 1709. The nave had to be vaulted over with a new groin vault at that time. Another fire in 1800 destroyed the roof of the church and a new roof was built. The church interior underwent the last adjustment, a re-gothization, in the years 1848-1884. In 1987 a restoration of the facade took place, during which the original Gothic windows with stone tracery have been uncovered.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.