Cesis is a city in Latvia. Located on the Gauja River, 90 km north-east of Riga.Cesis is located in the center of the Vidzeme region, on the territory of the Gauja nature reserve park, 90 km north-east of Riga. It is the third oldest city in Latvia.
This settlement was first mentioned in 1206, when the Wenden castle was built. It was this magnificent structure that gave the first “name” to the city. Solid wood was used as a material for construction. The first inhabitants of this castle were the Vendians, representing the ancient Latvian people. Later the castle was rebuilt into a sturdier stone building. From that moment on, it became the most protected fortress in the entire Baltic region.
Cesis, despite its development in the conditions of the modern world, has retained its ancient appearance to this day. The streets in the medieval style still carry the guests of the city into ancient times. Cēsis has become famous for its hot springs, as well as for a high-end market for summer houses and spas in and around Gauja. ‘Cīrulīši’ near Svētavots Cave (Holy Fountain ) is the most remarkable of them, with a spring believed to have healing powers.
Access : Coordinates: 57.316667, 25.266667 / By car : The regional road P20 Valmiera – Cesis – Drabesi passes through Cesis, the road P14 Umurga – Cesis enters the city and leaves P30 Cesis – Vecpiebalga – Madona.
/ By train : The main destinations start in Riga. Trains are sent to Cesis three times a day, bringing tourists and visitors to the city. If you prefer to travel by bus, then from the Riga bus station you can get to Cesis in an hour and a half. This type of transport runs hourly
/ By bus : you can get to the city center by bus Riga – Cesis – Valga (Estonia).
- The castle park with castle hill and ruins : The most famous building of Cēsis is the castle. German crusaders of the Order of the Brothers of the Sword began to build Wenden Castle near the old wooden castle after 1212 .The ruins of the Venden Castle are the most extensive in the Livonian province and the best preserved . In the summer, the castle park is often filled with music due to its concert performances.
- Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in the 18th century mansion known as the “New Castle”. The forecourt of the New Palace is enclosed by a granary and a coach house, the latter today houses an exhibition hall of the museum. The oldest brewery in Latvia is located next to the granary. It was built in 1878 at the time of Count Emanuel von Sievers, but its origins go back to the time of the order.
- The Gothic Church of St. John : This cathedral is the largest medieval basilica in Latvia outside Riga. It was erected in 1281-1284 and served as the main temple of the Livonian Order. From 1582 to 1621 it was the main cathedral of the Inflant Catholic bishop, and from 1621 it became a Lutheran church. Served as a burial place for masters and bishops.
Now you can see the church as it became after the reconstruction of the 18th century. Its main decorations are art canvases, as well as skillful stained-glass windows, all of which were created by masters more than 200 years ago. An old organ has also survived in the church, and organ music concerts are held here several times a week.
- Old Town : Many wooden buildings from the 13th and 19th century, old streets have retained their original layout, which was created during the Middle Ages. There are many old buildings with traditional red tiles, restored facades and closed manicured courtyards.
- Victory Memorial – Commemorates the Latvian fighters who fell in the War of Independence (1918-1920). The monument was blown up during the Soviet occupation but was rebuilt in 1998 / The Kalachi estate museum, where the Latvian poet E. Veidenbaum lived and died.
- Square of Roses (Rožu laukums) : The old shopping square Roza with the monument “Ancient Cesis” / Livu Square, where the Lejas Shkimbags fountain, erected on the site of an ancient artifact well, is located, whose water, according to legend, still has healing powers. / Svētavots Nature Park and Holy Spring.
- The Church of the Transfiguration with the preserved parish of the old Gothic Church of St. Catharine and the wall paintings by I. Kehler.
- The oldest brewery in Latvia, “Cēsu alus darītava”, built in 1878 on the basis of an older one, dating back to the Livonian Wars.
- Cradle of the Latvian national flag : According to tradition, the Latvian King Visvaldis was wounded here in the fight against foreign invaders.
- The Ungurmuiža manor : A beautiful wooden building with a tiled roof and a richly decorated facade is located on the territory of a picturesque park.
- The walking trail “The Gaujaslīči section of the Cīrulīši Nature Trails” winds outside the city center and encompasses unconventional attractions.
- Winter sports : On the territory of modern Cesis, one of the most important places is occupied by ski slopes, which in winter attract amateurs and professionals of winter sports. Two ski slopes are located in close proximity to each other and are named agarkalns and Ozolkalns.
The internationally certified track “Ozolkalns” is the longest in Latvia, its natural relief is preserved to the maximum. Chair and anchor lifts, children’s slopes, instructor schools, rental and service points and a cozy cafe create comfortable conditions for ski lovers and snowboarders. A good infrastructure has been created on the second slope of Cesis.
- The art festival held every year during the summer. This event is of international importance, which presents the masterpieces of modern art, academic music, cinema, theater and opera, as well as choreographers from all over the world.
- The city also has wonderful parks that are perfect for families with children. The largest and most beautiful is the Maija parks Cēsīs, which will delight you with its beautiful landscape design and a variety of inhabitants,The park is located in close proximity to the old castle.
Activities : sightseeing / Photo opportunities / Hiking through untouched nature / You can walk through the cobbled old town and flourishing city parks / Shopping in Cesis – shopping streets, boutiques and outlets.
Go next : One of the most picturesque places in the region is the Erglu Cliffs area, located seven kilometers from Cesis. / The beautiful David’s Mill Falls / The castle on Lake Araiši / Ligatne , a town in Gauja National Park in Latvia. / Sigulda – A town with many interesting castles / Smiltene is a town in Valka District, Latvia / Madona is a town in the center of eastern Latvia.