Castles in Ukraine, All you need to know!

If you have been following our series on Ukraine, you should know that Ukraine is not just about beautiful cities and delicious food.  If you take interest in history and architecture, I have a good news for you! You will find castles in Ukraine from different times. Ukraine has undergone a difficult history. It has experienced trouble maintaining its integrity and independence. Ukraine was periodically under the influence of the nobles of different states. This reflects in the architecture of castles and residences from those historic times.

Western Ukraine is special as it is home to such buildings. Unfortunately, some of these castles in Ukraine are not in their best conditions. Nevertheless, they are enchanting enough to take a break from the Ukraine as you know it.

For me, visiting any ancient fortress is always a touch of mystery. You can only imagine how many myths, legends, events, human destinies, heroic deeds  it preserves!

Shenborn  Castle

On the bank of the river Latoritsa you will find one of the most interesting castles in Ukraine. I will explain you why. Although it is difficult to describe Shenborn as a castle. However, the impression from the first sight of it speaks of itself. This is because it is one of the most unique resorts on the territory of Ukraine. This is a hunting castle of the Count of Shenborn in a small village of Carpathians. Shenborn Manor was known throughout Europe. Noblemen from all over Europe came to Ukraine to hike on the slopes of the Volcanic Carpathians.

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Shenborn Castle Ukraine

The architecture of the estate reflects the popular nineteenth-century calendar and geographical symbolism. The number of windows in the palace is equal to the number of days in the year – 365. The number of rooms is the same as the number of weeks – 52. Finally, the number of entries is the same as the number of months – 12. Palace’s interior consists of staircases, a fireplace, a chandelier along the contour of a female figure from the deer horns (“Melyuzina”) and stained-glass windows in the castle chapel. As you approach the castle you will walk through a beautiful park. By the way, this track is called Beregva. It is Hungarian for “Forest Castle”. The park is home to Japanese cherry, pink beech, Italian glycine, vinegar tree and silver maple. In particular, the most beautiful time to come here is the cherry blossom time.

If you are driving, you will find the castle on the Kiev to Chop highway between Suskovo and Chinadievo settlements.

Olesky Castle

This building is one of the oldest fortress or castles in Ukraine. It finds its mentions since the time of Kievan Rus. The first historical mention of the castle dates back to 1327. Ancient Olesky Castle – no doubt, is one of the most beautiful decorations in the treasury of Ukrainian and even European history.

Located on a high hill (50 m) that is surrounded by swampy countryside, the castle gained the glory of a mighty and impregnable fortress. This speciality and its strategic location on the border between Poland and Lithuania provoked constant conflicts between Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians to occupy this fortress. It is often believed that Black Roads passes through this place. The black road is the one that Tatars used to invade Ukraine.

The castle has a unique oval shape. Its entrance is decorated with a massive bas-relief featuring portraits of Polish kings, symbolic figures and chimaeras. You will find a beautiful park surrounding the castle. Its avenues are decorated with artistic sculptures.

Olesky Castle is a state museum-reserve of the 10th-18th centuries. It falls under the department of the Lviv Art Gallery.

If you are driving, you should take the road M 06 from Lviv to the city of Rivne. The castle is 75KM from Lviv.

Palanok Castle

Castle Palanok is just a few kilometres away from the centre of Mukachevo. The foundation of this castle is an extinct volcano.

This is one of the most beautiful castles in Zakarpattya, Ukraine and it is personally my favourite.  Its ancient walls preserve many mysteries and legends. The Mukachevo castle was the centre of the national Hungarian resistance in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the residence of the rulers of Transylvania. The romantic and heroic love story of Princess Ilona Zrini and leader of the Hungarian rebels Imre Tekeli are connected with it.

Palanok_Castle_in_Mukachevo_(Main_view)
Image by Sanya7901 [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Built in the 900-1300th years, the castle became a real icon of architecture and history. It has survived dozens of assaults and sieges. Today you will find it in almost perfect state!

Zolochiv castle

Zolochiv Castle is a very beautiful place to visit in Lviv region. It is a former royal residence and a remarkable example of Renaissance architecture. The construction of the Zolochiv castle took place at the expense of the father of King Rzeczpospolita Jan III Sobieski. The construction finished in 1636.

Zolochiv Castle Ukraine
Image By Анна Біляєва [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

It was built as a defensive fortress by an unknown Italian architect. It was the first building in Ukraine equipped with sewer and fireplace heating.

The castle in Zolochiv played many roles. It was a defensive fortress as well as a royal residence. It was also a prison and an educational institution. Today, the Zolochiv castle is a museum-reserve.

Ostrog Castle

Ostroh_Castle_(Klymenko) Ukraine
Image by Sergiy Klymenko [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Ostroh Castle finds it home in Ostroh (or Ostrog), in Rivne region. It is situated on the top of a hill overlooking the valley of the Vilya River. The castle was built on the site of wooden reinforcements destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars in 1241. At first, it was a tower-donjon, now called “Murovana Tower”. Donjon is the main residential and best-fortified tower of the feudal castle in medieval Europe. The castle is located on a relatively small oval ground on a hill surrounded by a deep moat filled with water. Ostroh castle was the residence of the princess of Ostrozky. Today in Ostroh Castle you will find the Ostroh Museum of Local Lore.

To get here from Kiev or Lviv, take the M-17 (Kiev-Chop) to Rivne. From Rivne, take the road R-98 to Ostroh.

Lutsk Castle

In 2011, the Castle of Lyubart (or Lutsk) won the first place in the competition known as  “7 Wonders of Ukraine”.

Lutsk Lubart's Castle
Image by Nataliya Shestakova [CC BY-SA 4.0]

It is considered that the foundation of the Lyubart Castle was laid in 1340. Before the Lyubart castle took a stone appearance, a wooden fortress stood on its place. According to one of the legends, the Lithuanian prince Lyubart built this castle for his beloved wife. Three towers joined together by stone walls, testified to the infinity and sincerity of feelings of the prince. Each of the towers was a symbol of Faith, Hope, Love.

The Lyubart castle was one of the strongest defensive outposts. It is evident from its three meters deep walls at the base and a metre thick walls at the top.

Today there is a library in the castle of Lyubart. Besides many interesting books, you can also see a printing press that is made of wood, and drawings depicting how books were printed before. In addition, you will see the museum of bells in the Styrova Tower.

Like most castles, the Lyubart castle is interconnected with underground passages. It is possible to find your way through them only once a year, at the festival “Night in the Lutsk castle”. Jazz festivals are often organized here. The atmosphere of this castle contributes to the fact that jazz simply flows like the river.

Location: Lutsk, Cathedral str., 1-A

Pidhirtsi Palace

The first expression that comes out of any tourists here is – What a mystery! This is a haunted palace. There are numerous stories describing how many people have seen a white figure of a woman.

Pidhirtci Castle Ukraine

Talking about the haunted palace, the castle is also the oldest hotel in Ukraine. They built this palace in the 1740s. Once you are here, you will find a beautifully decorated astronomical clock.

Pidhirtci Castle Ukraine

The Pidhirtsi castle is officially classified as one of the 100 most important monuments in the world that require immediate restoration.

The village of Pidhirtsi is located 17 km from Brody city of Lviv region.

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