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Continuing the introduction of latvian small towns which Gatis started, I present you Cēsis - town which is located ~90km to north-east from Riga. Was there some 2 weeks ago, and now can say it's one of my favourite latvian towns. It has nice historical looking old town, located on small hill, castle ruins and great parks. The Old town's main square is under restoration currently, so I couldn't take pics of that square and the church next to it.
Cēsis roots goes back almost as far as Riga's - German crusaders known as the Livonian Order began construction of a castle near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. The planning of the town of Cēsis was done in the second half of the 13th century. The market place with a church was in the centre of the town. The centre of housing was the stone castle of the Livonian Order with its three fortified towers. The town was also encircled by a dolomite stone wall with eight towers and five gates. Cēsis became also Hanseatic League member.
Today Cēsis has a population of 18 000, it is 11th largest town in Latvia and quite popular tourism object.



This nice house is right next to bus/train station:



Walk just some 500 metres and you're in park like a fairy-tale:





Central street in Old Town:









Going down to hill:









Another view like from fairy-tale



Orthodox church of Cēsis:



Castle ruins:



Cēsis castle park, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding foot-paths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins.



 

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wow amazing place!! I will have to visit perhaps this summer.. thanks for the pics.. those houses and parks look stunning! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wow amazing place!! I will have to visit perhaps this summer.. thanks for the pics.. those houses and parks look stunning! :cheers:
Great! If you do it, then be prepared for latvian public transport system and remember that trains here don't run as often as (I suppose) in Finland, especially to Cēsis they are rare - only 1 train in ~4 hours (5 trains a day). So, check out schedule before buy a ticket (I didn't and bought a ticket, then went to schedule and saw the next train is after 2 hours :eek:hno:, then trashed ticket and went to bus station). Buses are much more often, they run every 15-20 minutes, but trains are a bit faster (though still very slow by Western standards), because they hadn't go through Riga traffic - it was very annoying, when, going by bus, we drove through Riga exactly 1 hour which is almost half of all journey's time. So, for return I choosed train. But the good side of all this is that the tickets here are really cheap - only 2 euros to Cēsis for train, and just a bit more for bus ticket.
 

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The old town has some nice diverse architecture and the park looks stunning! Sadly parks like this are hard to find in Estonia, especially in small towns.
 

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Great - thanks for posting the pictures here! Both parks shown here (there are more parks in Cesis) belong to nicest parks in Latvia! To my mind Riga is nicest city in Latvia, then comes Kuldiga, then Cesis, then Sigulda, then... may be Jurmala.
If will find time, will post my pictures of Cesis here too. Unfortunately mine are taken in the time when snow was melting - at that time everything looks black&white.
 

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Beautiful pictures. :)
I didn't knew, there were several parks in Cesis. :)
 
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