King Alfonso II founded the Monastery of San Paio de Antealtares in the year 830. It fell into decay at the end of the 13th century, and in ruins, the Catholic Monarchs eliminated it and included it into S. Martín Pinario. In 1495, Gómez de Marzoa´s efforts to set up a college for poor students led to the monastery becoming Compostela´s first school and the origin of Galicia´s Renaissance University. The Order of benedictine nuns occupied it as of 1499.
The present-day building, in baroque style, appeared between 1599 and 1744. Fernández Lechuga the closing wall of La Quintana as a large, undecorated canavas, gicving the sensation of perfection and grandeur; Velasco Agüero built the other walls of the cloister and doorway facade, with a monumental doorwayframed by four giant order Doric columns; Fernando de Casas y Novoa extended the building to the Carros Gateway, finished by Lucas Ferro Caaveiro and known as 'Puerta de la Borriquita' (the Donkey Gateway), thanks to the relief image of the Flight to Egypt (Francisco de Lens, circa. 1750). Church (Friar Gabriel de las Casas, 1703-07) in cut-stone granite and tiled, two-sided roof. Greek cross ground plan extended at the western end to accommodate the choir. Simple, monumental facade with the figure of St. Pelayo Martyr. Interior covered with a dome over pendentives. Main retable by Castro Canseco.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.