Cathedral of the Divine Saviour, located in the center of Ostrava, is the second largest Roman Catholic cathedral in Moravia and Silesia. This three-nave Neo-Renaissance basilica with a semi-circular apse and two 67m high towers dates from 1889 (building started in 1883). The church was designed by Gustav Meretta, the official architect of the Archbishop of Olomouc, and the interior by Max von Ferstel.
The main nave is 14 m wide and 22 m high, the two side aisles are 7 m wide and 10 m high each. The seating capacity of the cathedral is 4,000 people. On May 30, 1996 Pope John Paul II established the Diocese of Ostrava-Opava, and soon after the basilica has been dignified into a cathedral. In 1998, a new neo-baroque organ has been installed.
The foundation stone was laid by Mayor Anton Lux and the Reverend Josef Spurný on October 4, 1883. AT that time church committees were competing in Moravia which was established under provincial laws dating from 1864 and 1874. It was the supervisory and executive bodies, which were often the purchaser of furniture projects and new churches, significantly encroached into their final form. Their arguments focused, in particular, on situations where the parish volume was small. The church of the Divine Saviour would serve 4 municipalities which, upon its construction, should contribute a proportionate financial amount. However these villages managed their own parish church and, therefore Ostravanians' contributions to the construction of the church were often the cause of discord. Other financial flow was rather paradoxical. The Archdiocese of Olomouc, who took patronage of the church, was obliged, by patronage law, to pay a third of construction costs, worth just under 33,000 florins. Contributions also flowed in from Jewish entrepreneurs, like Baron Rotschild and the Gutmannové brothers.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.