Ukraine rich in places of interest that can bring a great feeling for anyone visiting them. Hence one of the main and unforgettable parts of our country is its ancient castles and fortresses. Many of them are located in the hilly or mountain surroundings in the Western part of Ukraine. Right here the influence of refined Europe is felt in the highest level. Of course, many of the Ukrainian fortifications properties are remained as ruins, not being fully reconstructed, but this is the real treasure for every Ukrainian.
There are more than 5,000 castles on the territory of Ukraine. First castles appeared on the territory of Ukraine in the 11th century. Initially, they were protected by fortifications of wood (stockade, towers, walls) and earth (trees, ditches). Since the 13th century, active construction of stone castles protected by mighty walls and towers and other defensive structures. With the development of artillery castles acquired bastion fortifications. By the early 18th century, most castles have lost their value, some of them had left the owners, who preferred to settle in luxurious palaces, which were responsible trends of modern times, the other part of the castle was rebuilt in the palace complexes .
SunCity Travel LLC offers you own Top 10 castles of Ukraine:
1. Kamyanets-Podilskyi Castle (Khmelnytska Oblast)
Fortress (11-18 cent.) for long years of existence during numerous reorganizations has got a kind of the extended rectangular enclosed by high walls. On a contour 11 mighty towers have been at various times constructed. Wooden strengthenings of different centuries have been replaced stone. In territory of a fortress there was a well with water, that during a fortress storm played very important role. During Middle Ages Kamenetskaya fortress was considered as a unapproachable stronghold. The legend according to which in 1621 turkish emperor the Osmanli turk amazed by power of walls and towers, has exclaimed is known: “Who has created this stone miracle?” “Allah”, – soldiers have answered. “So start up the Allah and takes it”, – the Osmanli turk has told and has ordered to recede. As an advanced post of the land Podillya the fortress has been last time used during II World war. It has been destroyed, it is now restored and is a museum of All-Ukrainain scale. The castle was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
2. Khotyn Castle (Chernivetska Oblast)
Initially the construction of the Khotyn fortress goes back to the Khotyn Fort, which was built in the 10th century by Prince of Kievan Rus’ Volodymyr. It served as the border fortification of Kievan Rus’. Construction on the current fortress started in 1325. Major reconstructions were made in the 1380s and in the 1460s. The castle was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
3. Akkermanskyi Castle (Belhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Odeska Oblast)
Akkerman Fortress or Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy Fortress is the largest fortress in Ukraine. It is not so hard to find as it’s the only fortress in town. The fortress was built in the 13th century by Genoese (Genoans) on the bank of the Dniester estuary, the site of the ancient Greek city Tira. Originally a castle – the fortress was designed to protect the trade route. In the 13th century, the Belgorod area became a part of Moldavian principality, and the fortress was significantly expanded. In the 14th century during the Turkish War, the fortress fell after a 16 day siege. The castle was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
4. Schönborn Castle (Chinadievo, Transcarpathia)
The hunting Palace of Schönborns, raised over Latoritsa River’s picturesque valley near the ancient Mukachevo, is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful temples, for which Western Ukraine is famous. Built in the late 19th century by the best European architects, it has survived until now almost unchanged and enjoys the status of the unique historical and architectural monument. This charming palace is reminiscent of the fairy castle and is reckoned among region’s most interesting and most visited sights.
5. Palanok Castle (Mukachevo, Transcarpathia)
The stronghold was a residence of mighty Koriatovych family for almost 200 years During the reign of prince Felix Koriatovych the fortress became one of the most impregnable in the whole country. The prince and his family lived in the highest part of the castle, there were really very rich interiors there. The stronghold has a good armoury: 164 cannons of different sizes and 60 barrels of gun-powder. The castle was surrounded by deep ditch. The inner bank of the ditch was surrounded by the high wooden fence (or wall ) (in Ukrainian this sort of fence is called “palanok”, that’s why this castle is known as Palanok castle. The area of this fortress is 14000 sq. m. the castle consists of 130 different premises with a complicated system of underground passages between them. The castle was the centre of the rebel lead by Ferenc Rakoshy. Since 1789 the castle was used as a prison. In 1926 the stronghold became a barracks, later there was an agricultural college in it. Now it’s a museum.
6. Svirzhsky Castle (Lvivska Oblast)
Svirzh Castle (first mentioned in 1530) is located on a hill near the lake and is very picturesque and well maintained outside. The area is protected and the doors are closed, but we entered inside as a group of tourists. We have seen the interior, however, there is nothing to watch, as all buildings are completely empty and without repair. But the courtyard is beautiful. There is an old well, from which water was taken during the siege.
7. Lutskyi Castle (Lutsk)
Lutsk High Castle, also known as Lubart’s Castle, is the main historic monument of the capital of Volyn. is the main historic monument of the capital of Volyn region, Ukraine. It began its life in the mid-14th century as the fortified seat of Gediminas’ son Liubartas (Lubart), the last ruler of united Galicia-Volhynia. It is the most prominent landmark of Lutsk. The castle was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
8. Uzhgorodskyi Castle (Transcarpathia)
The first written mention of the castle date back to the IX century (as Nestor the Chronicler wrote, «Hungarians came from the east and went through the great Hungarian mountains, and started fighting here against people who lived here”). After about a century on this place building of the stone castle begins, which should have been not only a defensive fortification, but also administrative centre. The fortification was built on the mount according to the canons of military craft, which provided luck in the future an easy fortune to the castle. In 1086 happened the first major victory – during the mass invasion of the Polovets horde the castle survived.
9. Medzhybizhskyi Castle (Khmelnytska Oblast)
The stronghold appeared in the 13th century when it was first built of wood and on a much smaller scale. The stone outpost is first mentioned in chronicles from 1516. Tartar troops then came across Ukraine through Medzhybizh, and it would have been impossible to survive without the castle. As of 1540, the town and the fortress belonged to the Sieniawski magnates for almost two centuries. One of these, Adam Sieniawski, granted Medzhybizh the Magdeburg rights (a set of town laws regulating the degree of its internal autonomy) in 1593 and the town became richer and richer from its fairs and famous for its craftsmen. The magnates restored the castle and built the grand palace in its yard. Their white stone doorways and frames, as well as the Renaissance attics remain today.
10. Olesko Castle (Lvivska Oblast)
Olesko castle is oldest preserved castle on the territory of Western Ukraine (Galicia) and the only fortress of Kyiv Rus’ period. It raises above a wonderful park on a 50 meters natural hill near the town Olesko, Lviv region. This monument of architecture has oval form, its walls are 10 meters high and 2.5 meters wide.