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Face value: 1 lats.
Weight: 31.47 g; diameter: 38.61 mm.
Metal: silver, fineness .925; quality: proof.
Struck in 2001 by Rahapaja Oy (Finland).
Artists: Gunars Krollis, Janis Strupulis.
The Hanseatic coat of arms of Cesis is featured in the centre. A pattern of Gothic ornaments is placed to right and the pointed arch to the left of the central motif. The year 2001 is inscribed right below the coat of arms. The inscriptions WENDEN and 1 LATS, each arranged in a semicircle, are respectively above and beneath the central motif.
A stretch of sea waves divides the coin's reverse in two parts. The Cesis Castle, topped by the inscription CESIS, is depicted in the upper part. The reflection of a Hanseatic ship is featured in the lower part. The inscription HANZAS PILSETA (Hanseatic city) is placed in a semicircle beneath it.
The inscriptions LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA (Republic of Latvia) and LATVIJAS BANKA (Bank of Latvia), separated by dots.
This commemorative coin has been issued within the international coin program Hansa Cities, organized by the Mint of Finland, and is dedicated to Cesis (Wenden), one of the eight Hanseatic cities of Latvia.
The city was first mentioned in the Chronicles of Henricus (Indrikis) in 1206. The wooden castle, which stood on the city's site in the 11th and 13th centuries, and the city (in German, Wenden) bore the name of the vendi tribe. Masters of the Livonian Order often chose the stone castle built by the Order of the Brothers of Sword (13th–18th c.) as their residence. Due to its location near the Gauja trade route, the city flourished in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and became a member of the Hanseatic League. Cesis organized special events for the Hanseatic cities of Livonia. On several occasions, the city hosted the Livonian Landtag. Cesis was the place where Western European and Russian merchants traded. The city mint, erected in the late 15th century, produced shillings and phennigs.
After devastation brought by the Livonian War (1558–1583), fires of the 17th century and the Northern War (1700–1721), the city flourished in the second half of the 19th century, when the Riga-Pskov highway and railway were built. The late 19th century saw a change in city administration: members of the city's council were chosen by election. As a result, Latvians gradually gained political influence. Nowadays Cesis, the city that gave Latvia its national colours, is a centre for culture and tourism.
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