From imposing medieval forts, to beautiful manor houses, the rugged Ukrainian landscape is awash with beautiful castles. Scattered across picturesque countryside and rocky hills, Ukrainian castles comprise a small but important part of the vast historical heritage of the country. Here are the most beautiful ones.
«Destinations» has already written about Castles of Western Ukraine, which are probably among the most popular and frequently visited castles in Ukraine. In this article we’d like to tell our readers more about some less known but still very interesting and beautiful Ukrainian Castles.
Chernelytsia and Rakovets Castles
The remains of the Rakovets castle rise on the right rocky bank of the Dniester River. They give a special charm to this area. Castles in Rakovets (middle of XVII cent.), and Chernelytsia (beginning of XVII cent.) played an important role during the wars of Polish King Jan III Sobeskyi against Turks. He personally resided in these fortresses above the Dniester River during the war. Both castles stand in ruins, however even now the image of the former grandeur can be recognized.
Read: Beautiful Travel Destinations of Western Ukraine
Ancient Halych Castle Fortress
Ancient Halych National Reserve was created with the purpose to preserve the historic and cultural monuments on the Halych area of over 80 sq. km, covering the lands of the ancient town and its suburbs. Under state protection there is a number of monuments of national and world heritage importance, the foundations of 14 annalistic churches dating back to the XII–XIII centuries, over 200 archaeological sites, 18 natural landmarks connected with historic and architectural sites.
The reserve houses the following museums: the Ancient Halych History Museum, the Prykarpattya Vernacular Architecture Museum and the regional landscape park that offers picturesque views over the area.
Location: 1, Ivana Franka street, Halych from where follow the Ancient Halych signs to get directly to the reserve, which is located further up the hill.
The Sydoriv Castle is an imposing ruin of a stronghold built by Marcin Kalinowski in Sydoriv, a village located 7 kms south of Husiatyn town. The castle is perched on a hilltop which is enclosed on three sides by a river. When built in the 1640s, the structure had seven towers that extended for 178 meters from north to south. It was heavily damaged by the invading Turks in 1672 and was abandoned by its owners in the 18th century.
Lutsk castle, or Prince Lubart`s castle, is one of the strongest fortresses of Volhyn region and a very important landmark of Lutsk city. The High castle had existed on the top of the hill since the times of Rurik dynasty. In 1340-85, Lithuanian-Russian prince Lubart reconstructed the building so it became a typical European medieval feudal castle, which we can see today. Lubart`s castle served as a residence for Volhyn princes, and even as a capital of Galicia-Volhyn kingdom. The castle was reinforced in 1430-1542 in the times of prince Svydrygailo government. Lutsk castle complex includes three towers and few residential houses, surrounded by walls, and also basements and caves of John the Evangelist Cathedral of XII century, where prince Lubart and other Volhyn rulers were buried. The territory of complex offers few museums dedicated to the subjects of painting, bells, architectural pottery, printing and weapons. The castle is being continuously restored; its territory provides great opportunities for archeological research.
The Palanok Castle or Mukachevo Castle is a historic castle in the city of Mukacheve in the western Ukrainian oblast of Zakarpattia. The Palanok Castle is delicately preserved, and is located on a former 68 metre high volcanic hill.
Zbarazh Castle is a fortified defense stronghold in Zbarazh, Ternopil region, built during the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is a recognized masterpiece of the fortification art and is reckoned among the most interesting monuments of the defensive architecture in the Western Ukraine. Located in the small town Zbarazh near Ternopil, it is one of the major tourist attractions of the region.
Medzhybizh Fortress is a medieval castle located in Khmelnytskyi region of Western Ukraine. This fortress was built in the 1540s. It's seen its better days, but till know you can feel all the mightiness this construction had back in its glory days.
The Vasylivka Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve "Popov Manor House" is an established museum complex at a partly preserved manor house built between 1864 and 1884 near the town of Vasylivka, Ukraine by Vasili Popov Jr. Located in Zaporizhia region, Popov Castle is an outstanding historical and architectural monument of the second half of XIX century.
Read: National Parks in Ukraine
Photo source: shutterstock.com, DiscoverUkraine, the photo of Popov Place is by Dmitry Gazin. All images belong to their rightful owners.