Batory Castle in Grodno, also known as old lock, is a special place in the city, rich in history, contradictions and even mysticism. The first mention of the fortress dates back to the first half of the 12th century, when a wooden structure was built to protect the area from numerous enemies. Over the long history of the city, the fortress was modified and rebuilt several times. Today it is perhaps one of the main and most popular attractions of Grodno. After all the restoration work has been carried out, the “Old Castle” can delight tourists with museum exhibitions, an observation deck and interesting thematic excursions.

The main sights of Grodno - Old Castle

Excursions and museum

Schedule: from 10:00 to 17:00, keep in mind that Monday is a day off.

Entrance ticket: for spring 2024 – 10 rubles, there are discounts for schoolchildren and preschool children.

Excursions for groups – from 25 rubles.

Old castle in Grodno museum

I recommend visiting on your own at least 30 minutes, this time is only enough to quickly examine the exhibitions and halls, as well as go up to the observation deck.

Excursions to the Old Castle of Grodno

Where to watch excursions?

A tour of the castle can be booked at the museum ticket office, as well as travel companies. In addition, you can choose options online:

Variants of excursions in Grodno

Sightseeing and individual excursions

Grodno Vitovt Castle

Grodno Old Castle – a brief history

Of course, such a convenient location as a hill on the banks of the Neman River was always interesting. Excavations at these sites indicate that these lands were developed by people back in the Neolithic period. Under the Grodno princes, there were endless battles and struggles for this hill, the city and access to the water.

Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle was constantly attacked by the Kryzhaks (Teutonic Order), so the fortresses were replaced one after another. When Grand Duke Vytautas came to power, he decided to rebuild the wooden fortress into a Gothic five-tower castle. The new stone fortress was completed around 1400.

castle old Grodno
The old building of the castle, the foundations of which still remember the times of Grand Duke Vytautas. Photo – 2014

castle in Grodno

Paradoxically, it was after the castle was rebuilt from stone that its defensive functions began to decline. In 1410, the Teutonic Order was completely defeated and ceased to exist, so the period of Kryzhak raids on the Grodno lands ended.

general view of the castle old grodno

The historical castle of Grodno received a new important milestone in the middle of the 16th century, turning into the residence of the king Stefan Batory.

Vitovt's Grodno Palace

The king commissioned an Italian architect Santi Gucci Fiorentino to change the appearance of the harsh fortress and give it the appearance of a Renaissance palace, it was at that time that the Vytautas towers were partially dismantled. By the way, the masters of modern reconstruction chose the appearance of the castle, which was under Stephanie Bathory, as the starting point for their work.

Zamak Batory in Grodno
2024, vezha-brama

During the reconstruction, special attention was paid to the entrance tower and the adjacent building, where the office, treasury, arsenal, royal rooms and other premises were located on the floors. The interesting thing is that the different levels were in no way connected with each other and it was possible to get to the required one only using a separate entrance.

It is safe to say that under Stephanie Batory, the castle reached its peak and prosperity, after all, it was the favorite residence of the king. There is another historical site in Grodno, unfortunately lost, which was built during the time of Stefan Batory - Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Zimov Grodna

After the mysterious death of Batory, the Grodno castle begins to lose its greatness. In the mid-17th century, the castle was badly damaged during the war between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Muscovite Kingdom.

Spadchyna of Belarus

Thanks to the efforts of the Lithuanian chancellor and the Grodno mayor Kshishtov Sigismund Pac the castle has been restored.

Historic old castle in Grodno

However, a new century and new wars, so already at the beginning of the 18th century, the castle of Stefan Batory was rebuilt again, after it was burned by Swedish troops during the Northern War. In 1729, the castle underwent significant redevelopment and simplification, largely due to the fact that construction was underway New Castle, which took a dominant place in the political and cultural life of the city.

Castles of Belarus Grodno

Grodno Palace after reconstruction

After Grodno and most of the lands of Belarus were annexed to the Russian Empire, Old lock turned into royal barracks. At the same time, all decor and decorations completely disappear from its facades.

Postcards of the first half of the 20th century Grodno
zamak on the old pashtoўtsy first palova 20 tbsp.

In 1927, they tried to restore the Grodno castle, but the start of work was constantly postponed. Partial restoration of the facade was carried out in the post-war years, and archaeological excavations were carried out in parallel.

Grodno old castle
this is how the gate and the bridge looked like in 2015
Old castle Grodno Belarus
Brama in 2021, summer

So archaeologists on the territory of the castle found the foundations of the temple, which date back to the mid-12th century. It is believed that it was built using a similar method as Kolozha church. During the construction, not only bricks were used, but also huge boulders, divided in half.

What's wrong with Grodno?

How to get to Grodno to the Old Castle?

Grodno is the unofficial Western capital Belarus. By car from Minsk It takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to get here. It is optimal to move along the M6 ​​highway. Read also what to see on the way to Grodno.

Are you planning a trip by public transport? Then it is optimal to go by train or minibus. The castle itself is located at Zamkova street, 22, below is the point with the location of the attraction on the map:

In the historical center of the city it will be interesting to visit Great Choral Synagogue и Church of Francis Xavier. Here's a good option where to stay in Grodno for the night.



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