Cēsis is a star, You are a star,
we are all stars!

Cēsis – European Capital of
Culture 2027 Candidate City

Let us create Cēsis’ story together!

The title of the European Capital of Culture 2027 willl be awarded to one city in Latvia and one city in Portugal

Cēsis’ Star Path

How can Cēsis shine brighter in the constellation of European culture?

Let us start by looking at the stars that are already here – in the Master Hall of Cēsis Medieval castle, in St. John’s Church, at the top of our Victory Monument.

But it is even more important to look towards, to look into, to see those thousands of visible and invisible, often overlooked and misunderstood stars that are part of Cēsis today. These stars are all the people of Cēsis. Every star is unique here. They shine, they illuminate, they collaborate, they tell a story! There are great stars and little ones. Along with the surrounding counties they create an entire galaxy, truly a starry road

Timeline of the star path


a place where a new star
of culture is born
in the European constellation

These stars are all the people of Cēsis. Every star is unique here. They shine, they illuminate, they collaborate, they tell a story! There are great stars and little ones. 

Along with the surrounding counties they create an entire galaxy, a star path.

Why Cēsis cannot afford
to not be a candidate?

Because of Cēsis and the people of Cēsis!

Cēsis cannot afford not to run for the title of the European Capital of Culture out of respect for the time embedded in the buildings of the city over centuries by the creative and cultural stars of Latvia! Cēsis cannot afford not to run also in the name of the modern times, especially when 2020 has underlined the true value of art and culture in the making and maintaining of our humanity.

Cēsis – a great place for living!

Cēsis already is and continues to become a great place for living both in the context of Latvia and Europe. Participation in this competition is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise! This candidacy tills the existing cultural soil and opens a wider scope for the cultivation of cultural and historical heritage. We are looking for new diverse forms of cultural expression to increase the development and economic activity of the county, and to provide opportunities for the communities of Cēsis to grow and flourish. 

Cēsis attracts and pulls in!

Cēsis attracts fresh talent and welcomes famous musicians from all over Europe and beyond. Cēsis calls for discussions and ignites the mind. Cēsis is home to and art festival, the biggest conversation festival in the Baltics and numerous other culture events. Cēsis is nature. Cēsis is home. Cēsis is education. Some of the greatest Latvian poets and writers have studied here. Not only the people of Cēsis are learning, Cēsis itself is still learning and creating!

Get involved!

You are at the centre of our team!
You, who wants to get involved, give advice,
add Your contribution the Cēsis road to the stars!

The Team

Atis Eglins-Eglitis

The Head of Administration of Cēsis Municipality

Inga Cipe

Culture project manager

Gints Grube

Film director and producer

Zane Neimane

Head of Cēsis Culture Centre

Juris Zagars

Director of “Daile” Theatre, member of Cēsis County Council

Dita Trapenciere

Head of co-working house SKOLA6

Janis Kinasts

Headmaster of Cēsis City Art School. Curator of Cēsis Pluriversity

Evija Taurene

Senior spatial planner at Cēsis Municipality

Aleksandrs Abramovs

Senior Communication Specialist at Cēsis Municipality

Cēsis is a star, You are a star,
we are all stars!

About Cēsis

It was already written in the distant past

Cēsis contains the power of nine centuries, and Cēsis is a city to enjoy! Its special atmosphere becomes apparent when you find yourself climbing any higher tower. It is because Cēsis is surrounded by the Gauja National Park, adorned by historical parks and castles (yes, plural!) built many centuries ago, buildings and neighbourhoods, but the most precious jewels are the people of Cēsis – creative, active, and ambitious! We are proud to implement projects which in their scope might seem incompatible with the status of a small town. But we succeed! When looking in the future, that is exactly what we perceive as our greatest advantage, and at the same time our biggest task – creating a great place for living with global infrastructure within the environment of a small town. We apply the same approach to the competition for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2027.

We are already a Latvian culture citadel, which provides endless possibilities for intellectual respite and enrichment corresponding to any taste. Besides a rich history the spark of culture in Cēsis burns particularly bright. For centuries Cēsis has been a scene for a rich and diverse cultural life. The greats of Latvian culture such as Janis Poruks, Rudolfs Blaumanis, Edvards Treimanis-Zvargulis, Eduards Veidenbaums, Alfreds Kalnins, Haralds Simanis, Ritums Ivanovs and many, many others have studied, grown up, and worked in Cēsis. But in the 21st century Cēsis has established itself as not only a regional but an international culture centre with state-of-the-art infrastructure, international festivals, internationally recognized summer schools and master classes, and a special creative ambience rooted in local initiatives, culture places and people. 


Cēsis’ concern for culture has also been appreciated internationally – “United Cities and Local Governments” ranked Cēsis as an example of excellent practice alongside such cities as Milan, Barcelona, ​​Rome, Lisbon, Malmö. In a survey done by the European Commission in 2015, Cēsis was recognized as an example of good practice among 69 other European culture metropoles where successful development of cities and regions is rooted in culture. Cēsis must be seen, experienced, and enjoyed – your future “You” will be grateful to you for that!

Cēsis Exhibition Hall

Cēsis Exhibition Hall is remarkable for the unique architectural design of its premises. The space is divided into two floors with eye-catching wooden structures and is suitable for diverse art exhibitions, but the excellent acoustics of the space are perfect for concerts. 

Cēsis New Castle

Cēsis New Castle together with the historic area around the Castle Manor and Livonian Order Medieval Castle ruins form one of the most significant and romantic cultural and historical objects in Vidzeme and the Eastern Baltic. 

Christ Transfiguration Orthodox Church

Cēsis Christ Transfiguration Orthodox Church is located on the North-Eastern slope of the Castle Park. The Latvian congregation decided to build the church in the 14th century, when Latvians started to form a settlement around the stone castle built by the German knights and Cēsis Dome – St. John’s church – had already reached its capacity of worshippers.

Cēsis Castle Park

Castle Park is the most picturesque park in Cēsis and the most popular place for relaxation in both summer and winter.

Cēsis Medieval Castle

With the guidance of a castle, servant you can go for a walk at the castle garden, admire the outline of the castle from the courtyard, climb the Western and Southern tower with a lantern in your hand to fully appreciate the historic atmosphere and learn more about the castle’s long history in multimedia exhibitions.

Cīrulīši Nature Trails

Cīrulīši Nature Trails provide an opportunity to learn about the forming the of the magnificent Gauja Valley from the Ice Age until now through and inspiring hike. The trails reveal the history of the Gauja river and the surrounding natural areas.

Līvu Square

Līvu Square was the location of the first marketplace in Cēsis at the first half of the 13th century. A church, a cemetery, and the Rīga Gate in the fortification around the city were also located here. At the end of the 13th century, as the new city started to form, this was the starting point of the city’s main street – Rīga Street.

The Global Centre for Latvian Art

Unique art exhibitions can be enjoyed in two exhibition halls. The Global Centre for Latvian Art collects and exhibits works of art created by Latvians in exile – artists who ended in exile after the Second World War and of the new generation living abroad.

Rose Square

Rose (Rožu) laukums is a former marketplace in front of St. John’s Church and since the middle of the 13th century has been known as vibrant place for trade. 

Exhibition “Burning Conscience”

Discover surprising and heroic stories of individual resistance in an exhibition about the occupation of Latvia that has been set up in an actual Soviet temporary detention isolator.

St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church alongside the medieval castle is one of the most notable architectural objects in Cēsis and is one of the oldest medieval architecture monuments in Latvia. It was built in the 13th century and is one of the oldest sacral buildings in Latvia.

Regional Concert Hall “Cēsis”

Regional Concert Hall “Cesis” was opened in the spring of 2014 and the historic and modern exist in harmony within the building. The building’s outline is the result of the restoration of the old Cēsis Community Building and the addition of complementing contemporary architectural forms. 


The creators of ZINOO are convinced that every person has a unique and remarkable potential which can be uncovered by encouraging one’s natural curiosity about themselves, the world and technology. 

Unity Square and the Victory Monument

The former Convent Square was renamed as Unity (Vienības) Square in 1925 when the Victory Monument was built to honour Latvian and Estonian soldiers fallen in the Latvian Independence War. Under the Soviet regime the monument was blown up and replaced by a statue of Lenin. The statue was taken down in 1990 for the Victory monument to return to its rightful place in 1998.

Rucka Artist Residency

Rucka Artist Residency is a place created by artists for artists. Since 2014, the building has been open for artists, all kinds of culture and art events, as well as summer schools for students. 

Co-working house SKOLA6

SKOLA6 is a space for creative and active people at the heart of Cesis old town. A former school building has been transformed into a co-working space and a creative and digital industry centre. It is also home to a design laboratory and artist workshops

Cēsis Central Library

Cēsis Central Library is a cultural, educational and information institution, which collects printed matter, electronic publications, manuscripts, and other documents, as well as ensures the availability and use of information and knowledge for its users.

Cēsis Railway Station

Cēsis Railway Station which is merged with the bus station is the central public transport hub of the city and the gates to the city to many visitors that arrive by bus or train. The station was built in 1946.

Cēsis City Stadium

Cēsis City Stadium is a modern, multifunctional sports base which provides local inhabitants and guests with possibilities to do sports in the facilities free of charge and to organize sports events. 

The future Cēsis creative and digital neighbourhood

Cēsis creative and digital neighbourhood is scheduled to open for business in the first half of 2022. We compare this project to an existing successful example – co-working house SKOLA6 which started out as an uncertainty but grew into a success story for many local entrepreneurs and created a strong creative community. Our inspiration for this project is the Creative Industry Centre “Aparaaditehas” in Tartu, “A-Lab” in Amsterdam, “Betahaus” in Berlin and other similar projects that have been implemented in run down areas. 

Žagarkalns and Ozolkalns

Skiing and recreation centres that attract thousands of active recreation lovers throughout the year. 

May Park

Maija (May) park was created in the 19th century when romantic castle ruins had come into fashion in garden architecture. The park used to be called Aleksis (Alex), park and the tall lime trees that line the park were planted by Kaspars Veidenbaums, gardener at Cēsis Castle Manor and grandfather to Latvian poet Eduards Veidenbaums. 

If You have any questions, let us know

Cēsis – Eiropas kultūras galvaspilsētas 2027 kandidātpilsēta

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