The Lutheran Church of St. Reinold (Reinoldikirche) is dedicated to the patron of the city. The church was built as a palatine church in the Ottonian era. The present building is a late Romanesque church with a late gothic quire. St. Reinold's was built from 1250 to 1270, and is located in the centre of the city, directly at the crossing of the Hellweg (a historic trade route) and the historic road from Cologne to Bremen. St. Reinoldi's congregation is a member of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, an umbrella comprising Lutheran, Reformed and united Protestant congregations.
Efforts to complete the tower of St. Reinold's were renewed in 1443. After its completion in 1454, it was 112m tall. The polygonal spire was renovated the first time in 1519. The apex of the church was now about seven metres higher. In 1661, the tower collapsed after being damaged during an earthquake. The foundation for the new tower was laid 1662, and the building was completed 1701, with a baroque ornament on the top.
The church was heavily damaged in World War II. Since the reconstruction the tower now bears a hood with baroque features. These features supply a visual and harmonious connection between the original style of the church and its appearance after reconstruction. The tower can be visited, up to the first platform by the bell tower.
On the inside there is a large set of bells. The heaviest bell, weighing 6.500 kg, is the largest cast steel bell in Westphalia.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.