Stadtpfarrkirche St. Johann church is located next to Rapperswil Castle. The castle and the parish church were built by Count Rudolf II and his son Rudolf III around 1220/29. The former parish church was located at Busskirch on upper Zürichsee lake shore, being one of the oldest churches around the lake area. Even the citizens of Rapperswil had to attend services in Busskirch until Count Rudolf II built his own parish church on he Herrenberg hill next to the castle. Legally, Rapperswil church was subordinated to 1253 the parish of St. Johann Busskirch and thus the Pfäfers abbey. In 1489 the adjacent Liebfrauenkapelle was built, the cemetery chapel that still exists. On 30 January 1881 the church was partially destroyed by fire, and rebuilt from 1881 to 1885.
The Romanesque hall church and the northern church tower were extended in 1383 to the west. In 1441 a smaller but massively southern church tower was built. Collection campaigns in 1493/97 allowed to rebuild the hall church into a tripartite Gothic choir with arched ceiling and tracery windows. Following the Reformation in Switzerland, two Renaissance wing altars in the side chapels were added respectively latter moved to other chappels. Thus, these altars were not destroyed by fire on January 30, 1882, as well as the sacristy located in the southern church tower, along with the precious treasure of the church: masterpieces by the goldsmiths Breny from Rapperswil, Dietrich, Dumeisen and Rüssi Ysenschlegel, being one of the richest in the Linth territory.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.