Not far from Cēsis, Āraiši has a number of sights worth visiting. First of all, the Āraiši Lake Castle – a restored 9th century ancient Latvian settlement on an island in the Āraiši Lake. The remains of an ancient settlement with approximately 150 buildings were discovered here, and the homes were reconstructed in line with examples found in archaeological excavations. Not far from the Lake Castle stand the Livonian Order Castle ruins, as well as the 19th century Āraiši Lutheran Church. It’s also worth paying a visit to the Vāvere Public House ensemble, which was an important meeting place for Latvian farmers and travellers after it was built in the early 19th century. The romantic Āraiši Windmill and miller’s house are also close by.
Cēsis is a picturesque town with a history spanning over 800 years. Visit the Cēsis Livonian Order Castle – the most impressive and well preserved complex of ruins in Latvia and one of the country’s first stone buildings. Next door is the New Castle, now home to the Cēsis Museum of History and Art. You can go on some interesting excursions here, for example, trying out medieval amusements like archery or tests of strength and agility. Also on the must-see list – the town’s crooked, cobblestoned streets, St. John’s Church and Rose Square, site of important public announcements and punishments in the Middle Ages.