The European Capital of Culture programme of 2014 proposed by Cēsis covers the whole territory of Vidzeme, one of the four historic regions of Latvia, in partnership with the rest of the Vidzeme authorities. The cities of Vidzeme have combined to develop a unique cooperation in support of Cēsis with the objective of working together for a common cause – developing the region’s cultural potential and being awarded the status of the European Capital of Culture.

Cēsis, the heart of Vidzeme, is what might be called the Middle of the Midland (‘Vidzeme’ translates literally as ‘Midland’), the cultural centre of the region and one of the oldest and most authentically Latvian cities in the country.

As the region where national culture historically underwent the most intense development, Vidzeme is sometimes poetically referred to as the cradle of Latvian culture. Today it is also the region where cultural traditions have been best preserved. The region is unique in terms of its high quality natural and landscape assets. which have shaped and will continue to drive the development of Cēsis and its neighbouring cities.

Cēsis – a comparatively small city in European terms – has, over the years, grown into one of the leading Latvian cities, focusing on developing an active cultural centre outside of Riga, the capital of Latvia. Cēsis has repeatedly proved on a national scale that, by daring to set challenging targets, significant results can be achieved. Such achievement is thanks to particularly enthusiastic participation in the preparation work for significant cultural projects and in the actual events themselves by the population, for instance, organising the 800th Anniversary Celebration of Cēsis, included in the UNESCO calendar of events for 2006. Since 2007 Cēsis has hosted the annual Cēsis Arts Festival, the largest officially recognised festival of professional arts in Latvia.

Full article at Cesis page