The Cathedral of St Nicholas is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in České Budějovice. The foundation stone of the parish church was laid around 1265, shortly after the founding of the city. The church of St Nicholas was consecrated in 1297, although it was still incomplete at the time. The completion of the main building probably occurred sometime around the mid 14th century. The original Gothic church was damaged by fire and repaired in the years 1513 - 1518. The church was significantly rebuilt several times. During the 16th century the church acquired a new bell tower called the Black Tower. In the 17th century, reconstruction took place and the church acquired its current baroque appearance. The church has a triple nave layout with 18th century interiors. In 1785 the interior was renovated when the church was elevated to a cathedral due to the creation of the Diocese of České Budějovice.
A cemetery was located beside the church and was in use from the Middle Ages up to the year 1784, when the decree of Joseph II forbade further burials. Between 1969 and 1971 internal adjustments were made in the cathedral in order to improve the liturgical space after the changes made during the Second Vatican Council.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.