Wendenas pils – the residence of the master of the Livonian Order in Cesis with a developed system of forurbs – the most important part of the historic core of the city. Cesis stone castle, by definition Dr.h.arh J. Krastinsha is “one of the most spectacular and emotionally expressive monuments of medieval architecture in Latvia.”
For the first time the mention of Cesis in written historical sources appeared at the beginning of the 13th century, when it is mentioned in the Livonian Chronicle of Henry (in 1208 as Wenden), and in the Novgorod Chronicle (1221, called Kes). There are other variants known: in some Russian annals, Cesis is referred to as “Pertuyev” (here the echoes of the name of the dangerous enemy of the Russians – the master of the Cesis Province of the Order of the Sword-Bearers – Berthold) are felt.
Originally, the knights of the Order of the Swordmen were placed in the Wendenas pils at Riekstukalns, and in 1209 they began to build their stone castle Venden on a neighboring hill, separated by a moat from the ancient castle of the Vendian. The construction of the castle is associated with the name of the first master of the Order of the Sword Wenno (also called Winno) von Rohrbach (1202-1209). The first master of the Order, as the chronicles testify and as people remember, was appointed a very pious and rarely fair knight named Venno who, by the grace of God and the Blessed Virgin’s will, began to build the Cesis Castle in order to establish here the name of the Lord forever and to deprive the Gentiles of even the slightest hope to apostasy.
In old books, whose authors were influenced by the erroneous hypothesis of von Sivers, one can sometimes find the statement that in 1209 it was here, in Cesis, that Master Venno and his chaplain Johannes killed the Order brother, Vickbert von Sausat. Actually it happened in the Order Castle in Riga.
Wendenas pils was built in the strategic place of the later fortified system for the protection of the order territories in Northern Latvia and Estonia. Around the castle, gradually grew a city, mentioned already in the chronicles of 1221 as a settlement near the castle. As a city, Cesis was noted in historical documents of 1323. Already in 1208 the Germans managed to embroil the Latvian land of Talava and Ugaunia (the area in present-day South-Eastern Estonia). In the spring of this year, a military alliance against Estonians was concluded between the Order of the Swordmen in the person of the Comtur of this Order of Berthold of Cesis and Latvian leaders.
Knight Berthold began his active work in Cesis from 1207 and was one of the main and most active organizers of conquests. A large role of the Commander of the Cesis Castle is proved by the structure of the Order, in which the post of Commander of the Cesis Castle was occupied by the Assistant Master of the Order of the Swordmen. Henry’s chronicle directly calls Berthold the Cesis masters (meaning, of course, the provincial master, not the Supreme Commander of the Order). In the book of D. Vasmanis it is written: The Supreme Head of the Order was the master chosen by the knights. The master had an assistant – the “Great Comtur of the Order”, who had the right in some cases to replace the master. In addition to them, the order included two provincial masters, who lived respectively in Cesis and Sigulda. Two Cesis provincial master’s degrees are known. The first of them – brother Berthold – acted from 1207 and promoted civil strife between ancient Latgalians and Estonians. The work of Berthold continued until 1216, when he fell in the battle of Otepää. Berthold in his post was succeeded by Rudolf Kasselsky, who was a provincial master until the fall of the Order after the defeat at the Battle of Saul.
In 1212, the Cesis knights took the fields and boards from the Autgine Latgalians. This is so outraged Latgals and Livs that they first decided on open resistance to the Crusaders. The center of the uprising was the castle of Dabrelis in the district of Satesele. As noted by all historians, this was the first armed uprising of local residents against the German enslavers. Cesis became the center of suppression of this vast uprising. In the years that followed, Wenden Castle became the center of military operations more than once. In the chronicle of Henry of Latvia it is told that in 1221 the Novgorodians came up with a large army to Cesis. Order knights with the Vendians went to meet them at the gate, but being unable to withstand their numbers, set fire to their houses and village and returned to the castle of Venden.
Then the most serious enemy for the inhabitants of the Cesis Castle was the Lithuanians, who many times made their way to Cesis, but could not take it. And the first most notable prisoner of the prison of the castle in Cesis, in 1213, was just a Lithuanian – Kunigait (prince) Daugerutė, the father of Wisvaldis, the prince of Latgalian Ersika, who fell victim to the political games of the Order. Daguerute, chained in chains, unable to regain his freedom, or, in order to avoid shameful and torturous torture, he stabbed himself with his own sword. The brothers of the Order, without remorse, were captured by Daugerutis, who, as a Lithuanian ambassador, went to Polotsk, and imprisoned him in the Cesis Castle. To take freedom is yes, but to deprive the honorable honor, even if he was a pagan, the knights were not allowed. Therefore, Daugerutis had a sword with him in the place of his imprisonment, which emphasized the high position of the prisoner.
In 1236, at the battle of Saul, the Order of the Sword-bearers was defeated and the remnants of the Order merged with the Teutonic Order, forming its offshoot – the Livonian Order. A year later, in 1237, Herman Balk, the first master of the Livonian Order, elected Wenden Castle the seat of his residence. This was due to the fact that Cesis was the center of the conquered territories: trade routes from Riga, Pskov, Derpta crossed here. A well-known role was played by navigation in Gauja. By the way, in the materials of the exposition of the Museum of the Cesis Castle it is stated that Herman Balk chose Wenden Castle as his residence in 1239, which then became the main residence of the Masters of the Order, although Cesis had to share this honor with Riga and sometimes with Viljandi. The residence of the Master of the Livonian Order was in Cesis, in the years 1297-1330, 1429-1434, 1470-1471, 1481-1560, and also in Riga in 1330-1429, 1434-1470, 1471-1481. Later, the Wenden Castle also became the meeting place of the chapter of the Livonian Order – the supreme leaders (in 1239 – 1561, with small interruptions). In the castle there were about 30 knights, but in the event of war their number increased. Near the castle also settled military mercenaries. At the time of the Order in the possession of the Cesis castle, there were 10 townships with 273 peasant farms. Cesis as the residence of the master and komtur became also a place of important medieval historical events. The main issues of war and peace were decided here, ambassadors were received, internal questions of the Livonian Order were discussed.
The Livonian Order fell into a critical position in the summer of 1260. In Kurzeme, in the town of Durbe, the Samogitians, the Curonians and Estonians defeated the Crusaders, and the Master of the Livonian Order Burchardt von Hornhuizen, the Land-Marshal of the Teutonic Order Heinrich Botel (the second person in the Order and his highest commander), as well as 150 Order brothers. Inspired by victory over the Germans, the Semigallians, the Curonians and Prussians rose. Lithuanian king Mindovg, taking advantage of the situation, refused Catholicism and the treaty with the Livonian Order, concluded an alliance with Novgorod and in 1261 went on a campaign against Cesis, the main residence of the shaken Order. Cesis also visited the troops of another Lithuanian cunite, Lengevinas (between 1244 and 1247), the former son of Sister Mindaugas, who ruled the territories of the present Zarasai district in the north-east of Lithuania. In these battles they suffered a severe defeat of the power of the Cesis komtur, and the komtur itself was killed.
With Цесисом the first mention of the Latvian flag in its present form is connected. In 1279 the leader of the Semigallians, Namai, began a military campaign against Riga in order to avenge the siege of the Dobele Castle. When the landmarshal (military minister) of the Livonian Order, Gerhard von Katzenellenbogen, called on the Latvians to help, a regiment of Latvian landlords with a red flag with a white stripe in the middle left for Cesis. After the Rigans captured the Wittenstein Castle Castle in 1297 and defeated it, the castle of Cēsis became the seat of the Masters of the Livonian Order again. The first after some break in the castle settled Master Bruno, perhaps the only master whose name is not mentioned in any of the well-known lists of masters of the Order.
From the first years of the Baltic conquest, contradictions and disputes between the rulers of Livonia – the Order and the Archbishop of Riga – continued. Mutual contradictions sought to resolve with the help of weapons. In internecine battles, the city of Cēsis was also usually injured (in 1314 Archbishop Friedrich Pernštein took several land holdings from Cēsis) and the district. The main losses were carried by the possession of the archbishop. If the order brothers could not take Raunsky Castle – one of the main residences of the archbishop, located only 18 km from Cesis, they sought to annoy the archbishop, ruining the possessions of his vassals and peasants.
In the middle of the 14th century, with the conquest of Riga, the pillage of the property of the Archbishop and the Riga Church and the acquisition of Estonia, the Order occupied a dominant position in Livonia. In Cēsis, the Order Chapter of the General Assembly was held annually, at which the highest leaders of the Order reported on their work and where they appointed and removed order officers. Here foreign ambassadors were received, very important questions of war and peace were being decided. The Commander of the Cesis Castle always occupied a very high position in the hierarchy of the order. The tradition that began with the provincial master of Berthold’s swordsmen, was preserved even in the times of the Livonian Order State, when this castle was the center of cometry.
Indirectly, the influence of the Cesis mural in the Livonian Order is shown by the following small example. In 1330, after a 33-year war with the Order, the city of Riga was forced to surrender at the mercy of the winners – the Livonian Order Brothers. Master Eberhard von Mongheim dictated the harsh conditions of the world. Among others, the responsibility of the defeated city was, in the future, to participate in all military campaigns of the master, but if the march on its own initiative was undertaken by the Cesis komtur, then Riga had to send him reinforcements – 30 armed riders. In relation to other komtures, Riga did not have such a duty. According to the chronicler Khoneke, in 1368, the Daugavgriva, Sigulda, Cesis and Kuldiga komduts went into battle under their banners, and the banner of the Cesis komtur was white with a black cross. From Cesis maintained close ties with the Supreme Master of the Teutonic Order in Marienburg (now Malbork, Poland), who gave his orders and orders.
Relations with the Lithuanians remained tense in this century, and many troops approached the attack of the castle, including the Grand Duke of Lithuania Olgerd (Algirdas) (1345-1377), the son of the great Gedimin. In peacetime, at least twice a year, the Master of the Livonian Order was required to summon a meeting of officials of the Order – the Chapter – in the castle of Venden. These annual meetings of the Order were opened by divine services and the master himself supervised the meeting. Here all the officials presented a written report on their activities for the time since the previous chapter, and economic books on incomes and expenditures of their locks. They also nominated, removed and relocated members of the Order. Only with the permission of the chapter of the Order the Master could leave Livonia, conclude treaties, hand over the lands of the Order, divide the incomes of castles, determine the rights and duties of local residents. In addition to the chapters, since 1401 in the Cesis many times assembled and the Landtags.
1413 was a turning point in history. Before, the Masters of the Livonian Order was appointed outside of Livonia, but then the following order was established: the Chapter of the Order in Cesis, nominated two candidates, of which one Master of the Teutonic Order was to be approved for the post of Master. Since then, in both orders, a struggle has begun between the so-called. “Westphalians” and “Reyna”.
In addition to the residence of the master of the Livonian Order and the komtura in the castle was the residence of the Vogt. Later, a kind of “census” of the Order’s cash was made, from which today we know that in 1451 in Livonia there were 270 brothers of the Order: 195 knights, 47 priests and 28 half-brothers or “gray” knights. Of these 195 knights, only two were born in Livonia, and the rest were strangers: 161 Westphalans and 26 Reiners. How small were the knights in individual castles, can be seen from the following figures: in Riga – 19, in Cesis – 14, in Sigulda – 12, in Kuldiga – 12, in Aluksne – 7, in Bauska – 3, in Rezekne – 3 and t . Of course, the Order’s army as such was more numerous: about 4,000 swords at the beginning of the 15th century: 300 brothers of knights, 1200 order mercenaries and about 2500 vassal horsemen. In addition, there are hundreds of riflemen, light cavalry of leymans and, finally, about 20 thousand peasant landlords.
In 1469, the master of the order became Johann Volthus (also called the Vol’khusen-Hertz). But in March of the same year, the top leaders of the Order removed Johann Volthusen-Hertz from power, arrested him in Helmet (Estonia) and transported him to Wenden under escort. One of the towers of the castle was imprisoned there, accusing him of corruption, of preparing a war against the Russians against all the advice, and of consolidating several comets with all the proceeds. After the verdict was passed to Volthusen-Hertz, the Chapter’s cap decided to transfer the Master’s residence of the Order again to Riga, and the lands appropriated by Volthusen to return the coins of Erve, Rakvere, Põltsamaa, Viljandi (all in Estonia) and Aluksne. Despite the petition for his release as his own brother and some German princes, Volthusen-Hertz was not released and died in custody a few years later (in 1472 or 1473). Nevertheless, the Order rendered him posthumous honor, having buried in the church of St. John in Cesis. The arrest of the master split the brothers of the Order into two parties. Adherents of Volthusen appealed to the Supreme Court of God, tk. The Order continued these acts of arbitrariness, related to the displacement of officials.
If in peace time von der Borch somehow coped with the duties of a master, then in the 1480s. The Cesis district had to endure the special severity of the battles between the Order and the Rigans. In 1482, Riga managed to take the Koknes castle (the territory of the archbishopric was at that time actually annexed to the possessions of the order). The troops of the order, in turn, surrounded the castle of Augstroze, and when the Rigans led by Hartwig Winhold went to help him, Master Bernhard von der Borch with his knights fled to the castle of Wenden shamefully, even without trying to fight the army of the Rigans who came to the castle, which allowed the last thoroughly to plunder the neighborhood of Cesis. This was the last straw in relation to the Order chapel to his master. Von der Borch was removed from office, losing to the Revel comtour Johann Freitag von Loringhoven.
But even after the victory over Riga in 1491, the Order Master continued to live in Cesis, at least because the Riga Castle was razed by the angry burghers and restored only at the beginning of the 16th century. However, the Master of the Order, Walter von Plettenberg, having evaluated the advantages of the Cesis Castle, turned him into his permanent residence; and this choice was accepted by the subsequent masters, even before the collapse of the Order in 1562. At Plettenberg in Cesis on June 6, 1501, the union treaty between Lithuania and the Order against the Russians was ratified. During the reign of Master Walter, a series of reconstructions were carried out in the Cesis Castle. During the years of his reign, the importance of the city of Cesis also increased. With him, gold coins were minted here.
The Magister had to survive the Reformation, which had a significant impact on the situation in the Baltics, when the absolute majority of the population, both Germans and non-Germans (the latter, however, often very formally) moved to Lutheranism. Although Plettenberg did not accept Lutheranism himself, although he did not accept Lutheranism, he still did not consider it possible to start a civil war because of religious affairs (this restraint in Western Europe aroused suspicions of Plettenberg’s sympathies for Luther) and treated tolerant of the Lutherans. Cesis came to the history of the Reformation in Livonia thanks to the agreement concluded in April 1533, which (mainly due to the pressure of vassals and Livonian cities) was signed by the Livonian Order, the coadjutor (ie assistant) of the Archbishop of Riga, Wilhelm of Brandenburg and Riga, in order to protect Lutheranism and eliminate the threat of civil war. The Master paid much attention to strengthening the Livonian Order. Using the weakness of the Teutonic Order, Plettenberg, from the great master Albrecht von Hohenzollern, Margrave of Brandenburg, bought out three rights according to which he achieved: direct dependence on the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire; direct domination over Northern Estonia; the right for the Livonian Order to appoint its own master.
In the times of Master Bernd von der Borch in Cesis, a coinage was staged – the fourth in Livonia (along with Riga, Tallinn and Tartu), shillings, pfennigs and other coins were minted there, and up to the first half of the 16th century, Cesis was the only provincial city of Livonia, which had the right to coin money. The first coins were produced here in 1472 – shillings, thalers and other coins with the inscription Moneta Wendes or Moneta Wenden. The mint itself was in the western part of Cesis. In the area of the gate Katrina was the Foundry (Coin) tower, so sometimes it is called a mint, which is incorrect – coins were minted not in a tower, but in a specially equipped workshop.
Walter von Plettenberg died in the Cesis Castle in February 1535 and was buried in the altarpiece of the church of St. John near the castle, where his predecessors Volthusen-Hertz (1472 or 1473) and Freitag von Loringhoven (1494) were already resting. From the tombstone of Master Walter only a fragment has been preserved, which is now housed in the premises of the church bell tower. In the Community Hall, one could see his monument erected in the church in 1855. This monument can be considered an evaluation given to the master of the Ostsee nobility and his role in the history of Livonia. In the church, you could also inspect the Plettenberg bust – a copy from a marble original set in Germany, in the Valhalla district of Regensburg.
In the meantime, the religious movement of the Reformation was spreading in Livonia. In 1524, the inhabitants of Cesis called to themselves the priest Berend Brugman (Brigman) who had abandoned Catholicism, expelled from Koknese by order of Archbishop John Blankenfeld. The first divine service in the spirit of the Reformation Brugman held in the city Liteiny Tower (near the Church of St. Catherine). The Reformation led one of the eminent representatives of the humanistic literature of the Baltic states, Burkard Valdis, to Cesis. His literary works of this period were dominated by anti-Catholic sentiments, but the author also turned against the German nobility. Very soon Burkard Valdis, whom the leadership of the Order accused of treason, was caught near Bauska (after 1527) and imprisoned, torturing him. A little later he was transferred to the Cesis Castle, where Burkard Valdis stayed until 1540. It is possible that he would remain in the cellars of the Cesis Castle until the end of his days, but thanks to the active efforts of the city of Riga and the ruler of his homeland Philip, Elector of Hesse, Burkard was released, and he immediately went to Germany, where for another 16 years he served as a Lutheran pastor. In Livonia, he no longer showed up until his death.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that a man who had fallen into the cellars of the Cesis Castle had no hope of getting out, unless the Order brothers themselves released him for some reason. The only known case, when the captive of the Order was lucky enough to escape from the dungeon, refers to 1558, when such an event was managed by Hans Gunter, who came out of the underground of the South Tower in an incomprehensible way. An unprecedented event caused a lengthy discussion, during which they agreed that Hans himself was helped by the Lord of Hell himself, for a mortal man can not do such a thing. In 1999, during the archaeological excavations, the tower was cleared of blockages and it turned out that theoretically such an escape was possible and there is nothing mystical about it.
The reign of Hinrich von Galen (master from 1551 to 1557) passed under the sign of a military threat. During these years, the troops of the Moscow tsar (the title of Grand Prince of Moscow adopted in 1547), Ivan IV the Terrible conquered the Tartar principality to the east and south-east of Muscovy, and began to increase the pressure to Livonia, which is the next master – Wilhelm von Furstenberg asked the a serious and ruinous Livonian War. The estates of Livonia felt the threatened danger and tried to prepare themselves for the war. In 1554, the Landtag in Cesis decided to send abroad for the recruitment of mercenaries of the Cominura of the Dinaburg. The threat of an external war, however, could not eliminate internal strife. At this time, the small Livonian states once again fought among themselves.
The Livonian Order was not satisfied with the fact that the post of coadjutor (co-ruler) Archbishop William joined German Prince Christoph of Mecklenburg, in the ambitious plans which included subjugate the whole of Livonia, to the realization that managed to Albrecht of Prussia – secularize possession of the Order and the Archbishopric, turning them in the secular duchy. The war ravaged the Cesis Territory. Due to the general demoralization to conduct military operations in Germany were sent mercenaries – mercenaries, and in the struggle between the Master and the Archbishop (1556-57 gg.), These warriors have turned into robbers and arsonists. In June 1556 the troops of the Order went on a sudden assault on Rauna, took it and destroyed it. This event ended the last internecine war in the history of Livonia.
In 1558, the first wave of Russian attacks swept across Livonia. In July, under the leadership of Prince Kurbsky, the Russians succeeded in defeating a detachment of the Order troops under Cesis, but they did not dare openly attack the castle of Wenden and the city and left. Already at the very beginning of the war, the Latvian soldiers of the Cesis region were drawn to the battles. In the autumn of 1558, the Germans surrounded the Russians in the castle of Ryuga (Estonia) and asked for help from the master von Furstenberg for his capture. From Cesis they were sent to the aid of two guns, 500 mercenaries and several thousand Latvian soldiers. In early 1559, during the second wave of the Russian invasion, the invaders took among other things the castles of Scuene, Nitaure, and others. However, the main events of the war so far passed Cesis. Furstenberg and his successor in the post of master – Gotthard Ketler then in vain sought for themselves allies. In 1558 and 1559 in Cesis large landtags were held, but without real consequences. In 1560 it followed the third invasion of the Muscovites, when Russian troops under Ergeme (or rather – at Lugazi) finally crushed the forces of Order and captured Master of Furstenberg, and then the August 2 burned and looted Cesis.
After the defeat of its troops Livonia saw the salvation only in surrendering to a foreign state (just as the state of the Teutonic Order in Prussia became a vassal of Poland). Most of the supreme rulers of the Livonian states also decided in favor of surrendering the Polish king Sigismund II Augustus. In October and November 1561 in Vilnius he stayed Riga Archbishop Wilhelm von Brandenburg and Master Gotthard Kettler, as well as representatives of several cities of Livonia – Riga, Cesis and Valmiera. The delegation was headed by the city of Cesis Burgermeister Bastian Detmar and Melchior Grotuzen, which are then received by the Polish king-diploma privilege, which kept Lutheranism countless privileges of landowners and assigns a so-called Cesis “The right of the city of Riga”.
Formally, the rule of the Poles in the Cesis region began with the signing in Vilnius of the agreement on the surrender of Livonia in 1561, during the implementation of which the duchy of Pardaugava was established north of the Daugava. In the first years of his existence, Gotthard Ketler was entrusted with supervision of him, but already in 1566 the Polish king, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, appointed hetman Jan-Jerome Hodkiewicz, who was the trustee of the Polish king, the administrator of the duchy of Pardaugava from 1566 to 1578 and subsequently also an active participant in the Livonian War. J. Chodkiewicz, arriving in the duchy, convened in 1566 in Cēsis the Landtag, which decided on the liquidation of the Riga Archbishopric and the subordination of Livonia to Sigismund II Augustus. Gathered in the same year in Grodno, the Lithuanian Seimas established the “eternal” unification of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Duchy of Pardaugava. The present territory of Latvia to the north of the Daugava was divided into four counties – Riga, Turaida, Cesis and Daugavpils. This division continued until the end of the Livonian War. The Duchy was still threatened with hostilities, so the possibilities for its economic development were limited.
Terrible appeared under the walls of Cesis August 31, 1577, and on the site of the present railway station ordered to install guns. To reduce the fighting spirit of city defenders, the tsar said that they are allowed to return their wives, mothers and daughters captured by Muscovites. Magnus with 23 accompanying (at Karamzin – from 25) through the Raunsky Gate left the city, ordering the duty burger masters and ratmans to open the city gates to the Muscovites, which they did to get the king’s favor; But through the open gates the Muscovites burst into the city, killing, destroying and setting fire to them. The amazed inhabitants fled to the castle of Wenden, where the landowners and people of Magnus were already living (Christian Schrafer, adviser to Prince Magnus, burgomaster Sebastian Detmar, and others). Old men, sick and children Muscovites were killed, and healthy men and women were taken into slavery. The inhabitants of the castle barely managed to close the gate through which Magnus left, just as the Moscow archers were only two steps from the castle walls.
Ivan the Terrible ordered to besiege the castle of Venden with four big dancers and from September 4, 1577, the city and the castle of Wenden mercilessly shell out three days and three nights (in fact, it took five days). The walls of the castle began to crack and crumble. It soon became clear that there was no hope for the castle anymore. Therefore, those who were in the castle (according to the information of the chronicler Russow – about 300 people) decided to commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Russians. They gathered in one of the halls of the castle, and the castle’s commandant, Heinrich Boismann, set fire to the barrels of gunpowder in the cellar, throwing a burning wick in the window. During the archaeological excavations of the twentieth century. dramatic pictures of the battles of the past are opened. Thus, in one of the cellars of the western wing of the Cesis Castle, 3 female and 3 children’s skeletons and fragments of the bones of the other skeleton were excavated under a 3-meter layer of debris. The coins and other items found near the skeletons, as well as the circumstances of the finds, indicate that the deceased are victims of the Livonian War. In September 1577, during the siege by the troops of Ivan the Terrible, they sought salvation in the cellars of the castle, but found destruction under the fallen walls.
The chronicler B. Russov tells: “After this, the Grand Duke in Cesis with his wives and maidens created such shameful and terrible deeds as the Turks and other tyrants did not hear. The men whipped and, wounded and bloodied, burned in the fire. One burgomaster wrenched his heart out of his chest and one of the pastor [Johann Schnell] tongue from his mouth. The rest were tortured in a terrible way, and their corpses, just like under Koknese and Ergli, were thrown to the fodder of birds, dogs and predatory animals, and were not allowed to bury them. ” Boris Russov can also read about how Wenden passed over to the people of the Polish King Stefan Batory: “Thinking and far-sighted people in Kurzeme and the Riga Archbishopric decided decisively that we must take several locks from Russians, in which there were few troops. The first attempt they made in Daugavpils, which surprisingly quickly occupied. A good beginning gave us hope for the continuation of this case. So the Turaida governor Johann Biering also decided to take away the Cesis from Russians, because he found out that there is a small garrison in the castle. 100 German and 80 Polish horsemen with 200 peasants penetrated into Cesis under cover of night with two siege stairs, where they collided with large predatory dogs, tearing and devouring corpses, which Russians threw out to be eaten by wild beasts and birds. These dogs howled, barked and roared so that Biering and his people completely lost heart, and he began to doubt the safe outcome. However, he decided to try his luck at Cesis. The horsemen dismounted, dragged both long stairs through deep snow, leaned against the walls and began to climb up. Climbing up, wars, going down from the gallery to the gallery, which were on the inside of the wall, reached the ground. Some of them, together with the drummer, hurried to the gate of the castle immediately, which stood open day and night so that the Russians could pass freely from the castle to the city and back. The gates occupied, and thus the way between the city and the castle was blocked. Other soldiers hastened down the stairs. There was a big noise in Cesis, and the Russians woke up. The Germans at the gate was not enough, but the Russians, who were in the city, thought that the castle was busy. The Russians in the castle thought that the city was occupied by many thousands of Germans and Poles. Therefore, the Russians in the castle and the city were frightened and were looking for somehow to be saved. It was not difficult for the Germans to open the city gates, which they helped to open a Latvian locksmith who remained with the Russians. Bering’s people searched the cellars and lofts in search of hidden Russians and treated them as they should. This happened in December 1577. “
These events enraged Ivan the Terrible. His army was still in the vicinity of Cesis (the Raunsky castle could not be taken away from the Russians, and they remained there until 1582). Expecting an imminent attack, Biering hastily strengthened Cesis. In the spring of 1578, on the Day of Candles, according to Russov, the Russians again surrounded Cesis and repeatedly tried to storm, but without success. The situation of the besieged, however, was difficult, and a shortage of food began. Biering with 40 horsemen broke through the siege at night and went to Riga for help. There is a version that, having received food and a soldier, Biering returned back on the road spreading rumors about the approach of a large army, because of which, perhaps, the Russians withdrew the siege and left. In September-October 1578, while local residents, Poles and Swedes were negotiating for joint actions, the Russians came to Cesis with 1,800 soldiers, heavy and light cannons. The Swedes retreated to Burtnieki Castle.
The loss of the Cesis Castle signaled a turning point in the course of the war, interrupting the series of victories of Ivan the Terrible. On the Battle of Cesis in 1578, Karamzin wrote: At the end of the summer, the Voevods of Moscow, the Princes Ivan Yurievich Golitsyn, Vasily Agishevich Tyumensky, Khvorostinin, Tyufyakin were to go immediately to Wenden, but, arguing about their superiors, did not comply with the decree; John sent to Derpt the deacon Andrei Shchelkalov, and his beloved nobleman, Danil Saltykov, telling them to change the voivode in the event of their further disobedience. Finally they stepped out, allowing time for the enemy and the Lithuanians to join forces with the Swedes; besieged the castle of Wenden and a few days later (October 21) saw the enemy behind him; Sapega with Lithuania and the Germans, General Boev with the Swedes attacked 18,000 Russians, who barely managed to build outside their trenches. They fought bravely for a long time; But the thin cavalry Tatarsky at a decisive hour gave our infantry and fled. The Russians trembled, mingled, retreating to the fortifications, where the enemy was still heavily fired. The night ended the battle; Sapieha and Boy waited in the morning, but Golitsyn, Okolnichy Fedor Sheremetev, Prince Andrey Palitsky, together with the deacon Shchelkalov, in fearless madness, galloped on the horses to Dorpat, leaving the troops in the night in horror, the consequence of which was a general flight.
The battle of 1578 aroused interest far beyond Livonia. To satisfy the curiosity of the population in Europe in the years 1578-79. several newspapers were published. They are probably the only ones in the history of Western Europe, fully dedicated to Cesis and the events around it. The first of them (Newe Zeitung, Von der herrlichen victori und Sieg …) came out at the end of 1578. Soon the rest followed. At that time, newspapers did not appear as regular periodicals. They were published in the form of bulletins, they were issued to reflect any important events that interested the society. Such a newspaper in 1579 was published and published by the Nuremberg book publisher Leonard Heisler. According to the custom of that time, a lengthy subtitle, read: “The defeat of the Muscovites and the siege of the city of Cesis.
The heavy rout at Cesis disrupted attempts to annex the Baltic states to the Moscow state. Poles, one after another, won the Livonian castles, and in the early 1580’s. already rightfully commanded here. The 10-year truce between the Poles and the Muscovites, concluded in 1582 in Ya Zapolsky, affirmed the power of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth over Livonia in the so-called. (Constitutiones Livoniae), and the Plius Truce signed in 1583 showed the inability of the Moscow State to continue the struggle against Sweden. The defeat in the Livonian War made a heavy impression on Ivan the Terrible. For the first time in his life, he was not able to achieve his goal. During the war, Cesis and its surroundings were devastated. A traveler who visited Livonia in 1586, said that fertile arable land was overgrown here with bushes and forests, and the peasants had no horses, instead of which they harnessed women into plows. The lands between Riga and Tartu, he said, turned into a solid desert, where you could not hear “neither the singing of a rooster nor the barking of a dog.”
During the Livonian War, the new Zadvinsky duchy was subdivided into 4 counties: Riga, Cesis, Turaida and Daugavpils. In 1582, instead of four counties, the decision of the Polish Sejm created three presidia – Cesis, Tartu and Pärnu. The Cesis region included land between Gauja and the Daugava, as well as Latgale. The governor of the Cēsis Voivodship did not live in the ruined castle, but chose Sigulda as his residence, just like the Marshal of the Order. In 1598, the Presidians were renamed the Voivodship. The voivodeships were subdivided into city (castle) districts, or old townships, and those, in turn, into manor districts and volosts. Among the sixteen oldstones of the Cesis province (in Riga, Daugavgrīva, Cēsis, Aizkraukle, Lielvarde, Smiltene, Raun, Scuene, Rezekne, Ludza, Daugavpils, etc.), the Cēsis area after 1582 was 3. At the head of the old steward was the elder, appointed by himself the Polish king. Instead of salary, the elders received income from the crown lands, which were called the estates of the elders. Headmen of the Cesis area lived in Cesis, Raun and Schenene.
1600 began with the invasion of Swedish troops in Livonia. At the head of the Swedes stood the Duke Karl of Sedermanland (1550-1611), famous for the last stage of the Livonian War. On the day of the Three Magi (January 6), the Swedes were already near Cesis, where they had an unexpected encounter with the Poles. 400 Polish cavalry made a sortie out of the castle and defeated the Swedish cavalrymen. Running Swedish horsemen mixed the ranks of their infantry and dragged her along. The Poles, however, did not expect to use their victory, for they were too well aware that the balance of forces in Livonia was unfavorable for them. Therefore they have ruined Цесис and have gone to Riga. The pogrom in Cesis was thorough – after the departure of the Poles there were only 18 adult men, as well as women and children, but the army so carefully looted the city that these people were practically starving.
More serious military actions by Swedish troops in Livonia began only at the turn of 1600-1601. In 1601 they occupied Cesis, Raunu and other castles. In May 1601 Charles IX convened in Cesis Diettag, in which the German noblemen Livonia decided to surrender to the Swedes, since, say, the Polish king does not fulfill his promises and oppresses the Germans. Most of all, the nobility worried about appointing local Polish and Lithuanian gentry to local administrative posts, as well as distributing estates to Catholics (hence, not Germans). However, in the same 1601 the course of the war in Livonia changed dramatically. Poland, having finished the war with the Ottoman Empire, could transfer very significant military forces to Livland. Failures on the field of battle made Karl become more sensitive to the demands of the landlords of the landowners. In 1602, he conferred on the knights of the Cesis County noble rights, which turned the peasants of the county into serfs, since these rights presupposed the unlimited power of the landowners over the serfs.
In the period from 1603 to 1609 years. The Cesis region had to endure the most severe calamities, because in those years, success in the war smiled to one side or the other, and both enemy armies repeatedly launched Livland in all directions. The devastation produced not only the actions of the enemy, but also his own imprudence. In the cellars of the Southern Corps (Celebratory Hall) of the Cesis Castle, Polish soldiers equipped a powder depot. On one miserable day in 1604, the manager of the lock, who was smoking a pipe, went down to check it … As a result of the explosion, the floors of the premises of the Southern Corps collapsed, and the Holiday Hall was also lost.
In 1611, King Charles IX died, and the war ceased for a time, with renewed force, in the 1620s, when one of the most powerful and warlike kings in the history of Sweden – Gustav II Adolf – resumed his struggle against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1628 the Polish commander Gosiewski for a short time reconquered part of Livland, but soon after the victories of the Swedish commander Hurna near Cesis and Limbaži, he was forced to retreat. Military success went to the side of the Swedes, who then controlled this region from 1629 to 1708. Thus ended the war, the grave consequences of which for a long time reminded of what had happened. Vast areas were abandoned by people, many fields were overgrown, everywhere hunger and plague raged. In this war, the walls and towers of the city of Cesis were destroyed, the city itself was seriously affected, and the two other towns of the region – Straupe and Rauna – could not overcome the military disasters and since then more than the cities do not exist.
At the last stage of the Swedish-Polish war, on July 7, 1627, Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna (1583-1654) was awarded as a reward for participating in the determination of the fate of Sweden, the Cesis Catholic bishopric, the castle, the city and other possessions from the king. . Cesis paid Uksensherne taxes – 50 talers a year, and also gave a third of the revenues of the city treasury every year. In the hands of the genus Uksensherns, this land was located until 1680, when the Swedish government turned it into its ownership during the reduction of estates. In the archives of the Uksensherns in the Swedish castle of Tidot, important historical documents of the Cesis Territory – the economic books of Livonian estates of Uksenshernov – have survived to this day. The gift of Gustav II Adolf to his chancellor Uksenshern was truly royal. He was given all the former bishopric, on the territory of which there were 13 estates, that in the middle of the XVII century. It covered 1143 arches (about a third of all the cultivated arches of Livonia), from which 71 arkl were occupied directly by fields of estates. The possessions of Uksensherny accounted for about 20% of the entire territory of Vidzeme (Livonia). Among the estates the central place was occupied by the estate of the Cesis Castle. Together with the estates, the gift included two cities – Cesis and Valmiera.
In 1654, a new Swedish-Polish-Russian war began, which, although not as long as the war at the beginning of the century, but again greatly devastated the neighborhood of Cesis. In 1657 the Poles occupied Cesis and Raun: they were expelled from there. The prisoner on May 3, 1660 between Sweden and Poland, the Olivian peace treaty (this time unconditionally) recognized Livonia as the property of Sweden.
After the Olivian Treaty for Livonia came a 40-year peace period, complicated by the fact that in 1681, the so-called. large reduction of estates. In accordance with the decision of the Swedish Riksdag of 1675, all owners of the estates that received them since 1604 had to pay half of their incomes to cover military expenses (Sweden’s finances were heavily influenced by the war with Brandenburg, Holland and Denmark 1675-1679). . The landowners resisted this, payments to the state treasury were received irregularly. Therefore, in order to increase state revenues, in 1680 the Riksdag decided to reduce the estates in Livonia. Already by 1681 the family estates of the Uksensherns had moved into the hands of the government, and among them – the estate of the Cesis Castle.
In 1700 the Northern War began. The year 1704 is the year of the military operations near Cesis, the echo of which is reflected in the work of Russian literary classics – the novel by A. Tolstoy “Peter the First.” In 1708 the Russian troops defeated the Swedes at Cesis. After the Northern War of 1721, according to the Nishtad Peace, the region of Cesis, together with the whole of Vidzeme, was annexed to Russia.
Wars and fires turned Cesis into an insignificant place. In 1730, the Empress Anna Ioannovna transferred the Cesis Castle and the Priekuli estate (not to be confused with Priekule!) To the possession of her favorite Ernst Biron, the future Duke of Courland. After 7 years, the castle estate of Cesis as a gift from the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna was received by the Chancellor of Russia Count Bestuzhev-Ryumin. On August 3, 1748, the city, the town hall, the church and the castle were completely burnt again, which now complicates the study of the history of Cesis. the medieval archives of the city were lost. The documents, which by chance survived the harsh wars of the 16th and 18th centuries, drew a terrible fire into the ashes. Therefore, the past of Cesis has to be learned from archival documents of other cities or even countries, and also by analogy with the history of other Livonian medieval cities.
After Bestuzhev-Ryumin, the castle with the estate belonged to the family of Baron Wolf, who treated his peasants so cruelly that in 1776-1777, the peasant unrest on the estate broke out. Not feeling further safe, Baron Wolf considered it advisable to sell the Cesis castle estate to Major Count K. Sievers for 96,000 Albertian thalers. The new owner in 1778 ordered (using the ruins of the old castle) on the foundation of his eastern building to build a new castle. Cesis castle estate, gradually expanding, belonged to the Sivers before the Latvian land reform of 1920.
In 1903, the ruins of the Cesis Castle along with other sights were visited by the painter, philosopher Nikolai Roerich and his wife. After the First World War Cēsis Castle was completely abandoned. As E. Mugurevich writes, Latvian historians of the 20-30s. XX century. the study of the medieval castles of the Livonian period was practically not practiced, for they were considered a legacy of the German feudal culture. The excavations carried out in Cesis in 1927 had other purposes: here they hoped to find the riches of the former inhabitants of the castle.
Next to the ruins of the Cesis Castle, in the so-called. The new castle, since 1949, is located Cesis Museum of Local History. It was founded by local teachers as far back as 1925, and the greatest merit in its creation belonged to K. Ashman.
Remains of the original one-nave chapel of the castle with fragments of late Roman white-stone architectural details are preserved. In the last quarter of the 14th – the beginning of the 15th century. the castle was rebuilt in the style of a castellum (a characteristic type for the castles of the Teutonic Order in Prussia). The walls of two buildings, articulated at right angles, the two lower tiers of the square in terms of the main western tower, the entrance to the inner courtyard and the traces of the vaults of the inner rooms and the outer arched gallery, have reached the present day. The walls of the tower and casings laid out of boulders and slabs are cut by loosely arranged large and small window apertures.
In the late 15 – early 16 century. round towers designed for artillery guns were built to the castle, the thickness of the walls of which exceeded 4 m: the North (from inside the hexagonal), the South (the so-called Long Herman), decorated with two decorative arcature belts, as well as the towers of Lademacher and the Western; there appeared a cylindrical superstructure of the main western tower, in which was reserved a room for the personal peace of the master, – a square room with a richly decorated stellate vault (completed in 1522). Rebuilt many times, the castle acquired its present architectural appearance in the beginning of the 16th century, when the Master of the Order, Walter von Pletenberg (1494-1535), rebuilt two diagonally disposed towers – the North and the South – in relation to each other.
The medieval city and the castle of the Livonian Order were surrounded by a protective wall of dolomite. Eight fortified towers guarded the city, four of them had gates through which one could enter the city, while in the fifth tower there was an entrance to the castle. During the Livonian War, the castle was partially destroyed during the siege by the troops of Ivan the Terrible; from the beginning of the 18th century. actually abandoned.
In 1777, the tower of Lademacher erected, which was the tower of the forburg and next to it, the so-called New Castle, a two-story palace with a mansard roof, the residence of Earl Karl Eberhard von Sievers, which has been preserved until now in part, was erected on the remnants of the forurb. In the 1920’s. The tower was rebuilt again – complemented by third and fourth floors, made in the Gothic style, four tower embrasures were expanded and converted into windows.
In the years 1912-1914. Over the main tower of the castle Venden, a cone-shaped roof was erected and stellate vaults in the master’s rooms were reinforced; in 1937, the tower of the Long Hermann (which is commonly referred to as the South) was partially restored; in 1952-1962 years. reinforced the foundations of the Northern Tower, canned walls. Since 1949 in the New Castle there is an art historical museum, the flag on the tower reminds that Cēsis is the birthplace of the national flag of Latvia. In the castle garden, various festivities, concerts of chamber music, as well as the Baltic Festival of the Middle Ages and chivalry are held.