Cesis aims to be a centre for culture and tourism, and “the most desirable place to live in Latvia”. With more than 800 years of history, well-preserved architectural heritage and a location in the scenic Gauja National Park, the council has solid foundations to elaborate on. Recent developments suggest that their strategy is working. Already in 2015 research funded by the European Commission found that Cesis can compete with Amsterdam, Madrid, Liverpool and other major cities in terms of how it employs culture as a tool for development. What's more, the town is also attempting to lessen its environmental impact. In 2019, it was the site of the first “zero waste town” pilot project in Latvia led by the environmental NGO Green Liberty.
Proactive local community contributes to cultural calendar
Initiatives in Cesis are a mix of bottom-up and top-down. Events like the annual town fair, Medieval Days at Cesis Castle, and Cesis Art Festival are established regulars while local organisations contribute new ideas, traditions and occasions, too. For example, the Institute for Environmental Solutions is transforming a historical brewery into a platform for the synthesis of science and art. Rucka Artist Residency is breathing new life into an ancient manor estate, and Mala art space entertains alternative audiences with a programme of exhibitions, performances and club nights. The people of Cesis are enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the wellbeing of residents, visitors and their environment.
Venues, hotels and restaurants express local pride
Cesis hotels echo the entrepreneurial spirit, there are no major chains in town. Visitors can stay at unique properties like Villa Santa, a complex of rebuilt wooden villas which hark back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries when the fresh air, forests and mineral waters attracted aristocratic families to holiday on the shores of the river Gauja. In fact, multiple Cesis hotels occupy historical buildings. Most are clustered around the centre of town within walking distance of major event venues - Cesis Concert Hall, Cesis Castle Complex and Cesis Sports School. Cesis restaurants are nearby too. One of the latest openings is KEST. Chef and owner Māris Jansons recently published his first cookbook, which celebrates edible plants from the meadows of Latvia. He says of living and working in the town: “Emotions, experiences and adventures suit Cesis, and what we do is sell emotions.”
Cesis promises to deliver more than a standard event experience. If you can picture meeting on the grounds of a 13th century castle, dining in a former fire station or teambuilding on the water, contact the tourism information centre and set some dates!
Cesis Tourism Development and Information Center
Baznīcas laukums 1, Cesis LV–4101, Latvia
Phone: +371 28318318
Languages: LV, RU, EN, DE
Vairāk informācijas www.visit.cesis.lv