Cesis is a beautiful Latvian town that calls the Vidzeme Upland region home. Set in the scenic Guaja River valley approximately 55 miles northeast of Riga, the town is well-known for its medieval castle ruins and its romantic Old Town district. Also, since Cesis is built on a series of ridges, it boasts wonderful views of the river and woods below. When Cesis visitors aren’t enjoying the sights in town, they can venture off for some recreation at the nearby Guaja National Park. This protected area runs from the southwest of town to the northwest of another Latvian town of interest – Sigulda. During the winter, another option for things to do in Cesis is to go skiing or snowboarding. Sure, Latvia isn’t exactly a mountainous country, but there are some pretty good tracks that are found around the country. Some of the best are in Cesis and Sigulda.
The medieval castle of Cesis, which is aptly-known as Cesis Castle, is one of the most majestic castle ruins that you will find anywhere in Europe’s Baltic region. The symbol of Cesis, the castle was originally built in the 13th century and was subsequently rebuilt and extended. Its present architectural shape mostly harkens back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Today, the medieval castle of Cesis is a popular tourist attraction, due in part to its resident Museum of History and Art.
In addition to checking out the museum exhibits, Cesis Castle visitors can also enjoy re-enacted theatrical tours, sit down to medieval meals, explore the wonderful castle park, or sample some of the product at the neighboring Cēsu Alus brewery. This brewery is the oldest brewery in Latvia and one of the oldest in the Baltic and Nordic countries. Its roots date back to the late 1500s. As a side note, the re-enacted theatrical tours at Cesis Castle are designed for groups and must be arranged in advance.
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