(Rolled) View of Cesis Castle Under a Bridge - Cesis - Latvia (PMC1777)

(Rolled) View of Cesis Castle Under a Bridge - Cesis - Latvia (PMC1777)

View of Cesis Castle Under a Bridge - Cesis - Latvia (PMC1777)

A little fascinating bit of history taken from Wikipedia:

In the autumn of 1206 during the Livonian Crusades, the Wends (a small tribe living on the site of the present day town of Cēsis) converted to Christianity and became allies of the crusaders. In 1208 the Brothers of the Militia of Christ, otherwise known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, took up residence among the Wends in their hillfort. They fortified the Wends' hillfort with a stone wall, largely replacing the previous timber defences. Although the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia describes the fort as “the smallest in Livonia”,[3] it withstood repeated sieges by Estonians and Russians.

In 1213 or 1214 the Livonian Brothers of the Sword started construction of the new stone castle right next to the Wend's hillfort. The design of this 13th century castle is unknown as all its structures (except the chapel) have been torn down in the course of the subsequent building phases.

In 1237 Cēsis Castle was taken over by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order. Under the new governor Cēsis Castle underwent large-scale reconstruction. The old fortifications were gradually replaced by a monumental square castle (castellum), consisting of four ranges built around a courtyard. This form of the Teutonic Order castle was imported from Prussia and largely stemmed from the need for “fortified convents” that would be easy to defend and where the brethren's domicile would be as compact as possible.[4] To provide additional safety and accommodate various service buildings, outer baileys were built as part of the castle complex. As a result of the grandiose reconstruction Cēsis became one of the largest and mightiest castles of the Teutonic Order.


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