TOP-9 CASTLES IN UKRAINE WORTH VISTING IN SUMMER
So, let’s begin…
Dahovsky CastleProbably one of the most fabulous castles in Ukraine. It is located in the village of Leskove, Cherkasy oblast. Unfortunately it has not been recognized as a landmark and it’s no wonder. In Soviet times it was a secret facility and so they never recalled it by now. Nevertheless, the building remains a great memory from the 19th century.
The castle was built by Kazimir Dahovsky who made an unbelievable collection of ancient textile, paintings, Eastern and European porcelain. The Dahovskys were famous for their passion for the English culture and that is why the castle was built in the English Gothic style. There is racetrack with horses of English breeds and a park arranged in the English style.
Bad news is that the territory around the castle is closed for visitors. Locals tell various stories of what is going to happen with this place. Some even say that the building has already been sold by the military. While the castles destiny is being decided it gradually begins to decay.
Kamianets-Podilskyi CastleWe couldn’t help listing this masterpiece. Most of you probably saw it or least heard of this place. If not, start packing your suitcase because it’s really worth it. This fortress belongs to the ‘Seven Wonders of Ukraine’ and this is no mistake. This is one of the places that has been attracting visitors for years and not only from Ukraine.
It is commonly considered that the fortress construction began in the 14th century. However, in some memorials the fortress was already mentioned in 11th-12th centuries. Another interesting fact about the fortress is that you can take part in a night acting show excursion across towers and dungeons.
Medzhybizh FortressA Renaissance castle is located in Khmelnytskyi oblast. A polish nobleman Mikolaj Sieniaswski commenced the fortress construction as early as the 16th century. The fortress became Sieniawski’s residence. Until that time the place served as various defence facilities which did not last till now because of continuous attacks of the Tatars.
Today the place has become a local museum and since 2004 the fortress has been hosting Ukrainian festival “Ancient Medzhybizh”. If you like history from times of knights, archers, kings and princesses you should definitely visit this place where history comes alive. Knights battle, archers tournaments, minstrel and costume contests create a unique medieval atmosphere.
Khotyn FortressEveryone should have heard of Khotyn Fortress. This is probably the oldest and the most enduring building in Ukraine. After hundreds years it looks almost the same as it originally did. FIrst recollections of the building go back to the 9th century. Just think for a second how much these walls could tell if they could speak.
The fortress was build in the town of Khotyn, Chernivtsi oblast by Vladimir the Great. For the reason that this fortress has kept its authentic look by now, they often hold knight tournaments “Battle of the nations” and shoot historical movie scenes. The fortress is filled with the atmosphere of our ancestors.
Khotyn Fortress is mentioned in various legends and incredible stories. Frankly speaking, this wonderful place is worth seeing with your own eyes. So don’t waste your time!
Schönborn Palace Castle
Today this is a health resort called ‘Karapaty’ but once upon a time Austrian dukes Schönborns built their residence and a hunter house here. A special thing about the castle is that it was build on the principles of astronomical year: 365 windows (365 days), 52 chimneys (52 weeks in a year), 12 towers (12 months), 7 exits (7 days of the week).
Today you can see family crests on the castle walls that used to belong to Shönborns. The castle was built in the style of French Renaissance which adds to its exquisite charm and beauty. Each detail represents a special adornment. There is also a lake near the castle the form of which resembles borders of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Pidhirtsi CastleA Renaissance palace is located in Pidhirtsi village, Lviv oblast. The castle is surrounded by a park from all sides and is notable for the integrity of its artistic conception which makes it one of the most beautiful castles in Ukraine. Unfortunately, many memorials were brought to St. Petersburg in Soviet times and were never returned.
Today Pidhirtsi Castle is in the List of World Heritage Sites needing renovation. However the most interesting fact about the castle is probably that according to locals and visitors there is a ghost of a woman who lives in the castle’s basement. They say, Earl Yablonsky murdered his wife out of jealousy and bricked her body up in the wall of the building. The soul of the miserable woman has been searching for peace ever since.
Today this is a historical and cultural site, museum-reserve located in Zolochiv. The story is of this place is very interesting. Since its establishment it has been a fortress, royal residence, county seat, prison and even educational institution.
In 1634 Jakub Sobieski built it as a defensive fortress. Residence was arranged in an inside castle. A peculiarity of the place are mysterious stones with inscriptions in cipher which are displayed in the museum. The discovery is dated 14th - 15th century and the engraved symbols have not been deciphered by anyone yet. There is a legend that the mysterious symbols were made by Templars who owned a castle near Zolochiv.
Olesko CastleAnother architectural site located in Lviv is Olesko Castle. It was one of the first to be renovated and opened for visitors back in soviet times. It was literally renewed from a total ruin as it suffered a number of tragedies during its existence.
First memories about this castle go back to 1327, when its location was on the border between Lithuania and Poland. For this exact reason the castle was doomed to face numerous battles and wars. Today this is a museum open for anyone willing to get familiar with ancient mode of life.
Akkerman FortressAnother notable fortress is located in the town of Bilhorog-Dnistrovskyi. According to one of the versions it was built in 13th century by foreman Fedorko. It is still considered to be one of the most powerful fortresses of the South since its walls are almost totally intact after hundreds of years.
There are a lot of legends related to this fortress. It is generally considered that Pushkin visited Odessa while in exile and went to see Akkerman. They say, this is where he wrote the lines of his epistle ‘To Ovid’.
The legend about a tower tells that Alexander the Kind buried his daughter alive in the tower wall after she gained her father’s money by deceit to build her own fortress. She is said to have proclaimed herself a queen and devastated surrounding territories by robberies and arsons.
According to another legend, Emperor Augustus’ court poet Ovidius Naso was sent here to serve his punishment because of his work that allegedly endangered morality of the Roman society. There are hundred similar legends about this place.
If you would like to hear those legends, you would rather go there and talk to locals - the stories about the fortress are passed down from one generation to another.
So, we have told you about some of the castles and fortresses that in our opinion are worth seeing with your own eyes. Yet, these are just a few of them: historical data proves that during existence of Ukraine there were around 5000 sites of this kind. Unfortunately, some of them were totally destroyed and left nothing but memories while others are half ruined today. Nevertheless, what matters is that they kept memories of the past glory days, of knights and heroes, of what happened hundreds years ago. They keep creating unique atmosphere of mystery and a fairy-tale.
So take our advice from UaModna – make your own journey to the past ;)
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