Belluno Cathedral (Duomo di Belluno) stands on the site of a palaeo-Christian church. A subsequent church dedicated to Saint Martin and built in around in 850 is documented. The present building was built between 1517 and 1624, to plans by the architect Tullio Lombardo, in the style of the Renaissance. The cupola was completed only in 1756. The campanile dates from the 18th century and is by Filippo Juvarra.
The unfinished west front is of stone, divided vertically into three, between two lower wings. The lower part contains a rich Baroque portal and two Gothic windows, while the upper part, terminating in a tympanum which rests on an entablature delineated by lesene, contains a central rose window, the glass of which depicts figures of Saint Gioatà, Saint Lucanus and Saint Martin.
The interior of the cathedral, majestic in appearance, has Renaissance lines even if the height of the pilasters tends more to the Gothic. There are three naves of six spans. The presbytery has triple rows of stalls. The cupola is airy and light. The semi-circular apse contains a fresco by Antonio Ermolao Paoletti of a triumphal Assumption. Among the works by distinguished artists kept in the cathedral, two paintings by Gaspare Diziani stand out for their the complexity of their composition: Saints Charles Borromeo, Francis de Sales, Cajetan and Andrew Avellino and the Conversion of St Paul. An altar in the northern nave is decorated by a painting by Egidio Dall'Oglio depicting the Holy Family.
The Baroque campanile, built between 1732 and 1743, stands at the exit from the sacristy. It was designed by the Messinese architect Filippo Juvarra. Including the angel on the top it is 67.35 metres high. The angel, of wood covered in copper, by Andrea Brustolon, is 4.63 metres high.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.