The Abbey of Innichen was founded in the 8th century and rebuilt in the 12th–13th centuries. Its collegiate church is considered the most important Romanesque building in Tyrol and the Eastern Alps and, it is home to a 13th-century sculpture and a fresco cycle from the same age in the dome.
The original abbey was founded in 769, when Tassilo III, duke of Bavaria gave to abbot Atto von Scharnitz some lands going from the current Monguelf to Abfaltersbach, provided that a Benedictine convent would be founded here, to convert the Pagan Slavs who had settled in the area. Of this original construction, however, no certain traces have been found.
The church was entirely rebuilt from 1140: of this edifice today the external walls, the piers, the apses and the crypt remain. A second reconstruction was carried out from around 1240, when the vaults of the crypt and the nave, the transept and the dome at the crossing were added, including the frescoes with the History of Creation. The large bell tower was built later, from 1323 to 1326.
The church has a simple façade, in crude stone blocks. Over the central portal are two small mullioned windows, surmounted by a small frame dividing the façade in two and a rose window. On the left is the massive bell tower, also in stone, with a square plane: each of the sides has a row of thin mullioned windows, except for the top floors, which have a larger single- and double- mullioned windows. The top is pyramidal in shape.
The rear area is more complex. The crossing is the background of a descending sequence of blocks, started by the presbytery, and followed by the nave's apse, the roofs of the aisles' apses and finally the apses themselves. Another block on the left is the sacristy. The apses' exterior is decorated by Lombard bands.
On the right side are a pilaster-shaped tabernacle, frescoed in the 15th century, and the Museum of the Collegiate.
The interior has a nave and two aisles, the latter smaller in height, with a transept, a presbytery and three aisles. At the crossing is a crypt. This houses a 13th-century wooden sculpture portraying on the two patron saints of the church.
The dome is frescoed with the Stories of Creation, painted in the 13th century.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.