Cēsis History & Art Museum


Right from the outset when you're handed a lit candle in a glass lantern, it's clear that this isn't an ordinary museum. At its centre is Cēsis Castle, founded in 1209 by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. The candle's to help you negotiate the dark spiral stair in the western tower (the views from the top over Castle Park's picturesque lake are excellent). The museum's extremely interesting displays are in the adjoining 18th-century ‘new castle’.

Cēsis first started flying a red-white-red flag in the 13th century, which was adopted as the Latvian national flag following WWI. In 1988, before the country officially left the USSR, Cēsis Castle was the first place to start flying the flag again.

Temporary art exhibitions and chamber-music concerts are held in neighbouring Cēsis Exhibition House; the yellow-and-white building served as stables and a coach house in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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