Alternate names: Cēsis [Latv], Wenden [Ger], Venden [Rus, Yid], Cėsys [Lith], Tsesis and Цесис / Венденъ [Rus], Kieś [Pol], Võnnu [Est]. Region: Livlandriga. 57°18' N, 25°15' E, 49 miles ENE of Riga. 1900 Jewish population: 368. Town information.
Small and charming, Cēsis (Wenden in German) is a picturesque resort amid pine forests of the Gauja National Park in the central part of Vidzeme region, approximately 90 km NE of Riga. The town dates from 1206, when construction of the stone castle on the bank of the river Gauja began as residence of the Livonion Order, German knights, grandmasters, who played an important role in the history of Baltic region, in the 13-15th centuries. The German domination of some areas of Latvia is well known as it was a major outpost of the German-dominated Hanseatic League that dates back to the 1300s. In the 16-17th centuries, the town was destroyed by the plague and the troops of Russian Czar Ivan the Terrible. The city began to recover in the second half of the 19th century when linked to Riga by road and by rail. Saint John church from the 13th century, ruins of Cesis castle, fragments of the fortification wall, and houses from the 18-19th centuries can be seen today. [March 2009]
|Last Updated on Saturday, 15 January 2011 15:46|