Novogrudok Castle - history and stages

Novogrudsky castle - famous attraction in Belarus and one of the main fortresses of the GDL in the past. For a long time the castle was the main defensive structure of the city. Novogrudok, which has been known since the 11th century. Mindovga Castle, which is how it is known, was built from large brick in stages over a long period, starting from the middle of the 13th century. Novogrudok fortress was the largest in the region. It had 7 towers and was located on a hilltop, from where it was possible to observe the surrounding territories at a distance of about 20 kilometers.

Castle Hill in Novogrudok

Where is it located and how to get there?

The castle in Novogrudok is located almost in the very center of the city, at the intersection of May 1 and Zamkova streets. On the way to the fortress there are souvenir shops, cafes and a remarkable monument to Adam Mickiewicz. The second option is to approach the castle from the side of the City Park and Parkova Street, which offers a panoramic view.

Novogrudok castle

Historical summary

According to one of the stories, in 1253, the coronation of the king himself took place in this castle. prince Mindovga, who subsequently made this place his residence. The construction of the fortress began with a massive donjon tower, which was a defensive structure. It is in its place that over time it will be erected Shchitovka tower.

Novogrudok castle

Numerous military conflicts and sieges caused serious damage to the fortress of Mindovga. Therefore, at the end of the 14th century, work began on the construction of a new tower, the same Shield Tower, the ruins of which still stand in Novogrudok today. A five-tiered brick tower with thick walls reaching up to 3 meters and a height of about 25 meters inspired fear and respect for potential enemies.

shield tower

At the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th century, they began to build brick walls and expand the outpost. Three more defensive towers appear, among which - Kostelnaya (located to the right of Shchitovka, partially restored).

Tower Kostelnaya Novogrudok

Mindauga tower

Built a little later well tower, which got its name from its location - at the source of the spring. (the tower has not survived). Already in the first half of the 16th century, a part of a new stone wall and the Watchtower were laid. It is also believed that at that time the Novogrudok castle was one of the strongest on the territory of Belarus and the only fortress that had 7 stone towers.

Wars and destruction of Mindauga castle

Castle in Novogrudok repeatedly resisted the attack of different troops. So, in 1314, the famous prince at that time Gorodensky, defeated the German Crusaders. In the 16th century, the Crimean Tatars tried to conquer this place. In the 17th century, the castle was partially destroyed by Russian troops. At the beginning of the 18th century, it was destroyed by the Swedes during the Northern War, and these are just a few list facts, the castle has seen a huge amount of sieges and battles. In 1802, by order of Governor Benigsen, the remains of the walls were dismantled into bricks - so the once great fortress turned into ruins.

Mindovga Castle Novogrudok

Today, the ruined castle in the city of Novogrudok is a popular attraction, a short overview video from 2014:

The history of the Novogrudok castle today

Since 1921, what little remained of the fortress was officially taken under protection. Archaeologists and workers were able to carry out partial conservation of two towers. Since the middle of the 20th century, Soviet historians and archaeologists often came to Novogrudok. There was no talk of a complete restoration of the castle, but there were disputes about conservation, which continue today.

Novogrudok castle

Knightly festivals and thematic events are periodically held in Novogrudok. Every year, the ruins of Mindovga Castle are visited by thousands of tourists from different regions. People come to the performances not only from Belarus, but also from other CIS countries and Europe.

Near the Castle Hill is - Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, early 18th century. More sights in Novogrudokand see also tours in Belarus и Minsk.

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