The Cēsis Castle Complex

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Cēsis has a history of more than 800 years and is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the Baltics. But Cēsis offers so much more! Find out what to experience and how to enjoy Cēsis and its surroundings.
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  1. #LV45
  2. Pils laukums 9, Cēsis, Cēsu pilsēta, LV-4101, Latvia
  3. +37164121815
  5. Working hours*:
    1st November – 31th March
    Wednesday - Sunday
    10:00 - 17:00
    Monday - Tuesday - Closed
    1st May – 30th September
    Mondays – CLOSED
    Tuesday- Sunday
    10:00 -18:00
    Saturday 10:00 – 20:00
    Mon – Closed
    Tuesday - Sunday
  6. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
  7. 57.3133334, 25.2713763 Copy to clipboard Copy
    #Castles , #Family time

History of the castle

During its 800 years of existence, Cēsis Castle’s role has changed as significantly as its external appearance. The castle was built around 1214 and originally served as the residence of the Knights of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, but under the management of its next owner – Teutonic Order – it gained fame as the most powerful fortress in Livonia. Teutonic Order`s Livonian land Masters lived here and the Order`s annual chapter meetings were often held here. The Order`s archive, library, chancery with scriptorium and the Master`s mint were all located in Cēsis.

The castle suffered greatly in 1577, when, during the siege set by the army of Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible, 300 people sought refuge in the castle and eventually committed suicide by blowing themselves up with gunpowder. With the rapid development of military equipment, the ancient fortress lost its military importance, but it was still inhabiteduntil the end of the 17th century. After the Great Northern War, the castle was completely abandoned to its fate – rain and frost gradually undermined buildings that were left without roofs, and the town`s people contributed by removing stone blocks from the thick castle walls to build their own houses. Only the Romantic movement in the 19th century aroused broader public interest in the castle as a historic monument, thus inaugurating the castle’s conservation and exploration history. Today Cēsis Castle is one of the most special destinations of cultural tourism in Latvian, its uniqueness attracts travellers from all over the world.

Castle visit in torch light

Castle visit for every family will be like an exciting adventure.

One of the largest castles in the Baltic in ancient times today attracts visitors with its secrets and romance. Many ruin`s niches, stairways and halls make us think about the former grandeur of the castle but many aisles create the joy of discovery.

Special candle lanternsare given to all visitors on entrance. This not only createsatmosphere, but also has a practical meaning. The lantern is useful for visiting the Western tower with its narrow and dark staircase. You will pass by the servants room and through once luxurious Master`s chamber which leads to the very top of the Western tower. From the tower unforgettable views of the town can be seen from different points.

In the spacious castle garden, children can freely run around and try any of children’s area attractions. This is the best place for taking the most beautiful pictures with Cēsis Medieval Castle in background.

Route through castle garden, Western tower and castle courtyard leads to Southern Tower. In its basement a medieval dungeon is located, where disobedient town residents and prisoners of war used to wait their court. Today it can be visited by anyone brave enough to climb down the stairs all the way to the basement floor.

Family room in the museum

For families who are visiting the museum we offer a specially designed family room. This is a special room where family members of all ages can relax before continuing their tour. Adults can discuss with their children what they have already seen and their plans and we have installed special interactive room and behind the doors a special surprise.   Children can also draw or play some board games.

What remarkable things happened in Latvia in the year when I was born or my mother or grandfather? Who were the heroes of the Battles of Cēsis? What were the sounds, smells and what pranks took place in the manor house? What did the Grand salon look like when a real ball was held there? Which Knights put on their armour and who left their marks in the Middle Ages? These are questions to which the answers can be found in an interactive way by all!

Activity backpack

Are you ready for an exciting and inquisitive adventure with yourfamily in Cēsis medieval castle?

Activity backpacks will help you and your family to discover the secrets of the castle by means of different activities – drawing, encrypting, linking, searching, measuring and taking part inother exciting tasks.

“We found out so many new things, just by playing games and doing tasks!”

“Our family is pretty excited about the idea. We will definitely come again.”

“Thanks to backpacks, the visit to castle ruins was very exciting and at the same time very educational.”

“Little bat Walter made our holiday more special.”

 Activity backpacks can be obtained by purchasing a family ticket to the medieval castle.

Multimedia story in Cēsis Castle

New, unique exhibition for Latvia has opened its doors in Cēsis Castle. The “Multimedia story of Cēsis castle” invites the visitors to experience amazing multimedia story about Cēsis Castle, by reliving the most important historical events and feel the ancient atmosphere.

Audiovisual projections are used as the artistic approach. They cover cover castle towers’ 3rd floor room in 270 degrees. The visitor is standing in a room which changes together with centuries by reconstructing events, historical facts, castle’s interior design elements and everyday rhythm. Historic window ales are used for projected illusion of castle’s surroundings and illustrates its development and wars.

“This is a must see, as this will change our perception of history telling. This will be a new adventure and beautiful trademark for Cēsis, which allows us to find out more about the city in an interesting way. And this has to be seen by everyone, as this story is part of history of Latvia.” reveals the author of the exhibition’s idea Renārs Sproģis.

The project was inspired by the newest tendencies of museums and exhibitions worldwide. Nowadays, it has become more popular to implement various technology based solutions in this  industry, which allows to keep up with the trends and ensure the best bond with visitors.

Main producer and video artist of the exhibition is Māris Kalve, who developed the exhibition together with his colleagues from “Kalvestudija”.

Exhibition is located in the West tower of Cēsis medieval castle.

Information sources: ©