The medieval castle in Cesis dates back to the 13th century when the ancient hillfort was home to the Livonian Brothers of Sword. Constructed of dolostone, the castle suffered serious damage during the Livonian Wars. The castle was besieged by Russians in 1577 during which time the western part of the castle was blown up.
Surrounded by a moat on its south side, the castle was naturally protected by the steep slopes formed by the Gauja River valley. The fortifications have undergone a series of rebuilds and expansion over the course of its history with most of the surviving structure dating to the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
The rounded tower dates to the latter half of the 15th century. Three of five such towers survive today with the loss of a tower in both the north and south corners. The castle has been undergoing restoration since 1952.