Cesis Medieval Castle is one of the most impressive ruins in the Baltic states.
Do you enjoy being adventurous and exploring castle ruins? If so, then a visit to the Cesis Medieval Castle in Cesis, Latvia is just the place for you. This castle complex is in the heart of one of the oldest towns in Latvia. We took a day trip as it’s only a 2-hour ride from Riga, Latvia and had an amazing time exploring, climbing up, down and over ruins. The castle tower has narrow, steep, stone spiral staircases and since there is very little natural light inside, a woman in a period costume hands out lanterns with lit candles to help guide your way through the darkened areas. This just enhances the experience of exploring an 800-year-old castle, with shadows flickering on the walls.
Some tips for visiting Cesis and the castle:
- A two-hour bus trip from Riga’s main bus station. Cost is 8.30€=$9.86 round trip. Buses leave Riga every hour on the hour.
- Easy walking distance from the bus station to the Castle, with signs pointing the way.
- Castle entrance fee is from 4-9€ depending on how many exhibitions you choose to see.
- Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it from the tower of the New Castle. Benches surround the tower, chances are there will be no other people there and the views of Cesis and the castle are spectacular.
- Go off-season on a week-day and you will have the place to yourself.
Cesis Town Square
A small, charming town dating back 800 years ago.
Built in the 19th century by count Carl Gustav von Sievers. Travertine steps, gazebos and a pond with boat pier make this a year-round, picturesque, romantic park.
Cesis Medieval Castle
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the castle in 1209. From 1237 until 1561 it served as the residence for the Teutonic Order. In 1577, during the Livonian War, the castle was destroyed to prevent it falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible of Russia.
Originally built with 3 levels.
Lanterns to take inside the Castle Tower
Lanterns provided for the Cesis Medieval Castle tower – no electricity to guide the way
Lantern lighting the way in the Cesis Medieval Castle tower. This gives you a sense of how dark it gets inside. Really gives the feeling of what it must have been like making your way around in medieval times.
View from the Tower
Surrounding beautiful grounds.
Woman Tending the Castle Garden
A woman in period clothing tends a garden of vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants typically grown in the Middle Ages.
New Castle, built-in the 18th century, next to the old Medieval Castle. It is now a museum.
View from the Tower of the New Castle
Great view of Cesis, Medieval Castle and the Town of Cesis. We had the tower to ourselves so we used this opportunity to have a picnic lunch.
We highly recommend a visit to Cesis Medieval Castle, we found it fascinating. The castle is known for being some of the most impressive castle ruins in the Baltic states. The ruins give you a real sense of what life might have been like in the 13th Century. Be sure you visit the beautiful Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum in Riga.
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